Dheane-Shonelle Allison is more than the smiling face of Waiariki’s Whakatane campus reception, she is a living role-model to all who walk through its doors.

Pregnant at the age of 16, she has now graduated and gained full-time employment, thanks to skills learnt at the Bay of Plenty Trades Academy and Waiariki Institute of Technology.

Embracing her new responsibilities at the age of 16, Dheane rose to the challenge of who she needed to become for her baby by enrolling on the Business Administration Level 2 qualification at the Trades Academy, after attending a teen parenting unit in Kawerau.

The Bay of Plenty Trades Academy offers high-school aged students a variety of trade-related courses, which they can study during their final high-school years, to give them a taste of their selected industry, campus life and the tertiary study options they can lead into.

Taking to her classes at the Academy naturally, Dheane’s second year of study was cut short when her tutors advanced her up in to the Certificate of Business Administration (Level 4) at Waiariki.

Now with graduation behind her and a professional career well underway, Dheane thanks her “awesome” tutors for perfectly preparing her for the real world.

“Everything we did in business administration is used in not only my actual office work, but in a lot of other work that I’ve managed to pick up thanks to this qualification, so I have been really lucky,” says Dheane.

“I have my daughter to look up to me and I have to be her provider, so if there’s something bad enough that you want, you’ll do it.

“During my studies I hit a lot of road bumps that made it almost impossible for me to continue studying. However a phrase that I lived by throughout my years of study helped get me to where I am now,” she adds.

“Whaia te iti kahurangi I nga wa katoa, I kowhiringa koe ki te mau I te matauranga, tau te ao!” “Pursue excellence at all times – If you choose to embrace your education, the world will be your oyster!”

SOURCE: http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/87097-whakatane-mum-conquers-challenge.html