Compass volunteer: Semester 1, 2011 - present
Word Up Volunteer
Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Law student at the University of Sydney
When I was at high school I always knew that I was going to take a gap year between finishing my HSC and starting at uni. I felt like I needed much more than a 3-month break after studying really hard in year 12! I also wanted the chance to earn some money and experience the 'real world'. That's why I did my gap year in the Royal Australian Navy, yet I always knew that after my year, uni was there waiting for me. By the time I finished, despite the chance to continue on with the Navy, I was well and truly ready to dive into classes and get studying! I was also lucky enough to receive a scholarship to the University of Sydney after doing really well in my HSC year. I suppose I was also motivated by the fact that my mum was a mature age student, and I could see what a difference uni made to her life and how it opened up so many opportunities for her! Besides, if she could single-handedly raise 2 children while topping her university course, there was no reason why I couldn't do well after taking a year off!
When I was in my first year at uni I noticed the Compass stall at O-Week. I went straight to the website and I was so disappointed when I couldn't make the training day! However, I knew it was something I definitely wanted to do, so at the start of my second year I finally did the training and was ready to go. The Word Up program really caught my eye because it involves something practical and substantive, with the opportunity to work directly with students to help them in an area that they really need extra assistance in. I love teaching and being able to go into a school and work one-on-one with a student is so rewarding, especially since education was such an important part of my life growing up. When I was at Westfields Sports High School working with a year 9 boy in literacy, it was great to see him gradually become more confident in reading aloud and completing the comprehension exercises. This semester I have been at Kogarah Intensive English Centre helping out some students with conversational English skills, and it was so fantastic to hear one of the boys, who had started off quite shy, speaking with ease about complex topics such as the reasons behind the global financial crisis!
I love all the work that the fantastic team at Compass does, from the one-on-one tutoring to the experience days and one-off events, and can't wait to see what the future has in store! There is nowhere to go but up and I know that I will try and get involved every step of the way.