Della finds a pathway to her passion at STEPS

In early 2017 Della Parkinson decided she wanted to transition back into the workforce and the keen bushwalker, karate instructor, and busy mother of three was already certain of the type of career she wanted.

Passionate about working with people living with a disability, Della began searching for the training she needed to begin her career.

“My heart has always been in working with people with a disability, from kids, to teenagers, young adults and adults,” she said.

Della says her determination to reach her career goals probably made her a more demanding student.

“I knew what I wanted and didn’t want to waste time, so I was quite persistent and single minded in my aged care training course, and in my questions to instructors,” she said.

After completing a Certificate III in Individual Support at STEPS Education and Training, Della was offered a part-time position as a support worker at STEPS Pathways College.

The innovative program based in Caloundra supports young people living with a disability by providing an immersive learning environment.

The 12-month program provides students with housing on campus and helps to build skills, confidence, and experience to live independently in the community.

Della completed her 2-week work placement at STEPS Pathways College and said she knew instantly she wanted to stay.

“I was excited when I got my placement at STEPS Pathways College because it was the direction I wanted to go and I could get the experience I needed.”

“It was a great opportunity and an amazing experience, and I learnt so much in just two weeks,” she said.

Della said her role can change from day to day but it’s always about supporting each student as they work towards independence, and she loves it.

She said watching STEPS Pathways Trainer Jason Keen teach was a learning experience.

“I learnt so much from just watching the way Jason interacts with the students and teaches.”

“He gets that balance right: teaching while treating all the students individually and meeting all their needs,” she said.

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