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I was happily married, teaching my boys everything they needed to know or do to live life to the fullest. I was a great mum, it was what I was good at. I was needed and that felt good. Now my boys have grown up and they don't rely on me as much (secretly I think I also relied on them, they kept me busy doing what I loved). I knew I needed a job - financially I had to get one.

I spoke to (Bedford trainer) Tricia one day about this, still having no idea what I wanted to do. I was very busy with volunteer commitments and had no time to study, and even if I did, what would I study? My life changed one day, sitting at Taperoo Community Centre where I volunteer, watching Tricia run her Certificate II in Information, Digital Media and Technology class to a group of adults with an intellectual disability under the Abilities for All Program.

Before I knew it, I was mingling and volunteering with the group the following week. Why? Because someone needed my help. I was once again helping someone write their name, make a sandwich and use a computer. Those 12 students in the class accepted me, accepted my help and most of all accepted me as a friend. When the training finished, the group became a Life Skills Program as a centre activity with eight students. I struck up a great friendship with this group, and because of them, I knew what I needed to do. I knew what I wanted to be and I knew what direction I wanted to take in life. I then joined Tricia's Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability).

I felt like I was on top of the world and actually conquering something. I kept on volunteering with this group and applied for the very first job I saw on SEEK. I hadn't worked, or gone to an interview, for over 20 years so I thought I had no chance…but I actually got the job! I now work for Lutheran Disability Services, helping people with intellectual disabilities live life in their own home or community home.

Life is what you give AND receive. I truly believe Tricia, the Abilities for All Program, the IT/Life Skills class and the Cert III changed my life.

DREAM, BELIEVE, ACHIEVE!

Jodi-Ann