Fri 17 Nov 2017

Sarah merits a mention

Sarah Davidson’s journey has involved rocky paths, hard times, dark times and lonely times.

The WITT student who spoke at an end of year luncheon for Māori and Pasifika students this week talked about the challenges she faced as a student and of times she felt like “giving up on myself and what I believe in”.

In 2017 she did neither, and as the key student speaker at the luncheon she was able to celebrate with fellow students her latest results – an achieved, an excellent and a merit result.

Seven months ago, with some experience in working with dementia and palliative care patients, she arrived in Taranaki wanting to change her life but soon found herself on her own when her family moved away. Enrolling at WITT proved to be a significant decision.

Her path has a lot more smooth stretches as the year draws to an end and having completed her Certificate in Tertiary Studies she plans to take Level 4 biology at WITT in 2018 – then start a new four-year journey to becoming a qualified nurse.

She told fellow students the most important thing she had learned was something she found particularly hard – it was to ask for help.

She put her success down to using the resources available at WITT and asking tutors for help.

“I now look on them as whanau – and they will have to put up with me for another four years,” she said.

Earlier Kaitakawaenga, Māori and Pasifika Support Coordinator, Allana Prestney told students Sarah was an example of someone who could walk on a journey and get so far – and who could walk with a lot of people and get a lot further.

WITT Māori Governance Board leader Ken Taiapa told students their time as a student would probably just take up a fraction of their lives and be over in the “blink of an eye”. But he said education was life-changing and he was proud of Māori learners.

WITT has more than 380 Māori and Pasifika learners on its New Plymouth and Hawera campuses.

Picture: Sarah Davidson (left) with Kaitakawaenga Allana Prestney.