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Fiji experience provides focus for Cara’s career choice

Schools

A friendship with an autistic child and a life experience in Fiji have provided the clarity, focus and inspiration for a Kildare College 2018 graduate to pursue a career as a teacher working with special needs children.

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After starting at the Holden Hill college halfway through Year 8, it wasn’t until Year 10 that Cara Piantadosi’s perspective and outlook changed, and her journey in life was defined.

“I was a bit of a naughty student to be honest, I didn’t know where to focus my attention and I played up a lot,” said Cara.

However, through the holidays of that year she took the opportunity to work at a regional school in Fiji, staying with a host family and assisting in the classroom. Having experienced the community’s way of life, their positivity and their gratefulness, Cara returned to Kildare with renewed focus.

“I learnt to appreciate the opportunities that were given to me. To have an education is such a privilege, and to be able to help other young people achieve their goals is something that I want to be a part of.”

It was also around this time that Cara started spending a lot of time with the family of a friend who have a child with autism. She enjoyed the interaction and became a volunteer with organisations who organise events and functions for children with special needs.

In Year 12, Cara achieved outstanding results, obtaining an ATAR of 98 and receiving a merit for child studies.

Reflecting on her school journey at Kildare, Cara thanked the dedication, passion and commitment of the teaching staff for guiding her and providing the clarity needed to set her on her chosen pathway.

“I value the way the teachers go out of their way to help the students, they’re inspirational role models. They display the qualities that I want to have as a teacher, that selflessness and determination to help the students succeed,” she said.

Exemplifying the Brigidine spirit that Kildare instils in all their students, Cara now lives out the values in her day to day life.

“I will definitely continue my volunteer work with special needs children. I’m also returning to Fiji to work in a school for seven weeks, which will be another amazing experience that I will cherish.”

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