‘Before I did the GOALS program I always had self-doubt. I would get really nervous and struggle to speak in front of a group of people. Sometimes I would be too scared to put my hand up in class because I was terrified of getting the answer wrong. As each session of GOALS progressed though, I saw myself becoming more comfortable talking to new people and contributing to discussions. I truly believe that the mentoring experience impacted on my personal development with skills that I’ve applied throughout my tertiary studies and now during my career.’
A participant in ABCN’s first ever GOALS program back in 2005, Nancy Dennaoui graduated from Lurnea High School in 2008. Inspired by the dedication and passion of her teachers during her high school years – and armed with confidence and purpose she gained from GOALS – she went on to study a Bachelor of Health Science (PDHPE) and Master of Teaching (Secondary). Five years later she returned to Lurnea as a PDHPE teacher and year advisor where after only two years of teaching, she was recognised with the 2014 PDHPETA Early Career Teacher Award.
Nancy describes herself before GOALS as a student who was lacking in confidence. Her experience on GOALS however, exposed her to a corporate world and opportunities that previously she never knew existed. She remembers that every session was relevant to the choices and experiences that she and her peers were going through at the time. These skills, combined with the mentoring support she received helped her grow into a very different student – successfully putting herself forward for leadership positions in her senior years, and ultimately School Captain in 2008. She is especially thankful to her mentor Martha, who she says made all the difference.
‘My GOALS mentor was honestly one of the biggest impacts in my life. She taught me how to speak to others with confidence and how to engage in every experience to get the most out of it. Each session was better than the last and I would always leave feeling more inspired and confident than when I entered’, she says.
Many of the students from the 2005 GOALS cohort have kept in touch and Nancy reports that many have gone on to tertiary study and a broad range of careers from teaching and journalism to accounting, business and retail management.
‘Being able to go into different companies opened our eyes up to many opportunities’, says Nancy. ‘As a teacher and year advisor now, I continually tell my students that the experiences that they will get from GOALS are invaluable and will stay with them forever.’
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