Be passionate, be motivated, give it your whole heart – G8 winner shares her story
Despite choosing to leave school at the end of Year Nine due to “crippling shyness”, G8 Education Certificate III Trainee of the Year winner Kiara Romeo has gone on to achieve wonderful things in her chosen career of early childhood education and care (ECEC).
Ms Romeo was a diligent student who was achieving good grades, however she found it hard to make friends, making the high school experience a challenging one where she often felt lonely, and lacked confidence.
After a year working in her father’s hairdressing salon she worked up the courage to apply for a job at First Grammar Fairfield, on a hunch that her joy in caring for her young cousins might be the way forward into a career where she could make a real difference and enjoy success.
Barely a year later on from her life changing decision, Ms Romeo secured G8 Education’s inaugural Certificate III Trainee of the Year Award.
Ms Romeo’s prize for Certificate III Trainee is a $1500 bonus, and access to an exclusively tailored Semann & Slattery professional development series comprising six one-hour webinars.
Ms Romeo, who said she was “a little overawed” at the recognition, said that working in ECEC has not only helped her discover a career path she loves, but also to find her voice.
“At school it was hard for me to make friends but in my work, I have no problems,” she said.
“I felt a lot of support and comfort. Being here and seeing the children laugh and smile and develop I felt very calm and at ease.”
Having successfully completed her Certificate III, Ms Romeo is now studying for her Diploma, with plans to take on a Bachelor qualification also.
“I do a 10am to 6pm shift and then after work I study for at least four hours,” she explained.
“When I first began the assessments it felt like I was back at school. But it was something that I really enjoyed. I loved learning new things and because it is about children, that is what keeps me motivated.”
G8 Education CEO Gary Carroll said Kiara was “an inspiration” for people looking for a new and rewarding career direction in a growth sector.
“Kiara began her career in the sector with no qualifications but thanks to her determination, work ethic and genuine love of working with children, she is well on her way,” said Mr Carroll.
“Many people, whether fresh out of school or working in businesses that may not survive the end of JobKeeper can take heart from the experience of our Trainee of the Year Award winners.”
“We have supported Kiara’s career ambitions and she rose to the challenge, demonstrating an outstanding work and study ethic and the essential quality of every successful educator – a genuine passion for shaping the lives of young children.”
G8 Education is encouraging all eligible team members to take the opportunity to upskill and broaden their career options through its Study Pathways Program, which includes payment of course fees, rostered study time, and mentoring and support.
For those who are inspired by Ms Romeo’s story, her advice is “give it all you’ve got.”
“Be passionate, be motivated and focused and give it your whole heart. It will reward you. And don’t be afraid. From somebody who was really shy this has given me so many opportunities. I am truly grateful.”
To learn more about opportunities with G8 Education, please see here.