SALINA Tairoski celebrated graduating from high school at a special ceremony on March 2.
The Girrawheen 18-year-old was one of 195 WA students to graduate secondary school, Tafe or university courses last year with help from The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program.
Many of the graduates were the first in their family to complete Year 12 or attend university, having overcome significant barriers with the support of the children’s education charity.
The Smith Family has supported Ms Tairoski since she was in primary school.
“My little family, consisting of myself, my sister and my mum, has never been in a financially strong position,” she said.
“Having ongoing support from The Smith Family takes a lot of the stress off and makes it profoundly easier to focus on our education.
“My ambition is to help the youth and contribute some positivity into their lives. I’m not sure how to do that yet, but I am on my way to figuring it out.”
Ms Tairoski is studying a Diploma of Youth Work at North Metropolitan Tafe and aims to attend university next year to do a bachelor’s degree.
The Smith Family helps 33,000 students in Australia through the Learning for Life sponsorship program, including more than 3000 students in WA.
Learning for Life helps financially for educational items such as books and uniforms and provides access to learning support and mentoring programs.