At just 22, Queensland clubCREATE member Jackie is living her dreams of being a nurse! Read about Jackie’s journey and how she wants to #snapthatstigma and be a role model for other young people in out-of-home care.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hey, I am Jackie, 22 years young. At age 12 I went into foster care, after 5 years and 8 different homes I turned 18 and was out on my own in the big, bad world. I wasn’t a brainiac in school and perhaps needed a little prompting to study, but I somehow managed to score myself a position at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), studying nursing in 2012. It was one of the most rewarding, but challenging times of my life and I often thought to myself “what have I signed up for?”. With some dedication and support from my now “forever family” I managed to graduate my degree in 2015. I now have the most amazing career working at The Lady Cilento Children Hospital, in Emergency, helping children from all walks of life, some not so different from my own.
What are your major achievements?
My major achievements would definitely include graduating my Bachelor of Nursing and gaining employment and the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. This year I am also hoping to be accepted back into uni to specialize as a Pediatric Critical Care Nurse and in 2018 I intend to take my skills over to Cambodia and offer volunteer, medical aid to the community.
What are you most proud of?
It’s difficult to pick a specific moment that I am most proud of. I guess I am proud of how far I have come. If you had asked me at age 15, if this is where I would see myself in the future, I would have found the statement laughable as it all just seemed to far out of my reach. I am proud of what I have made for myself, despite being told numerous times that this life and career where simply dreams to big for someone like me. More than anything, I am most proud that my story may one day help another young person in care to follow their dreams.
What would you say to other young people in care?
To the other young people in care, I believe that you can do it. Whatever dreams or goals you have, you can fulfill them. It may take time, and a little bit of hard work, but you are equipped with the strength and knowledge needed. I think that most important piece of advice I can give is: whatever you choose to do, choose what makes you happy, because above all happy is what you deserve to be.
Do you know a young person in care achieving amazing things?
Help CREATE snap that stigma and share a positive story over social media, just hashtag #snapthatstigma or email firstname.lastname@example.org