Tania Hooper on following her dream to be a Nurse

During a meeting with a Women's Refuge Centre coordinator, I was asked the question "What would you like to do in life?'' That was a difficult question to answer; I was a newly single mum of three children and life was a little daunting. I mentioned that at one time I would have liked to do further study – doing what, I wasn't quite sure. She told me about the Next Step Centre for Women.

I began with Self Development for Women which was for two hours a week. I almost had to plan my whole week around those two hours because I was trying to justify spending that time on myself. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I decided to move out of my comfort zone and enrol in the New Outlook for Women course. In Term 4 I did the Updating Skills course. Being in this safe and supportive environment allowed me to find myself. I spent those weeks amongst some of the most amazing women I have ever met – the wonderful tutors, sta , volunteers and my fellow students.

I decided that I wanted to be a registered nurse, working in the community, primarily in Māori Women's Health. I enrolled in the Pre Health and Science course which I passed with distinction and have now completed the Bachelor of Nursing. I recently accepted a position working as a district nurse. From small beginnings, one step at a time, I followed my dream.