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Selfless sacrifice pays off for Nazareth graduate


The personal sacrifices made by Hyacinthe Ipassou have paid off after the Nazareth Catholic College student completed her SACE in 2019.

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Hyacinthe arrived from Africa in 2010 with her grandparents, aunt, younger brother and cousin, while her parents are living in America.

In recent years, the 18-year-old has had to juggle the demands of her SACE while caring for her sick grandmother and holding down a job at Coles to support her family.

But thanks to Hyacinthe’s sheer determination and the support of her school she successfully navigated these demands.

“Life has been very hectic, I’ve had a lot of responsibilities at home, looking after my grandmother and her needs,” Hyacinthe said.

“My school have been great, I have been staying in touch with my teachers and they have helped me to be flexible with my studies and work at Coles.”

Hyacinthe studied Essential English, Health, Nutrition, and Religion Studies during her SACE journey. Her Research Project examined mental health in Africa and how people try to hide their illness from others.

“When I was in Year 12 I was struggling and down, and I know a lot of Africans have mental health issues, which is why I chose this topic. I learnt about the importance of talking about our mental health issues.

“After the Research Project I learned a lot about myself and why we need to ask for help if we are struggling. Before the Research Project I was very shy but now I have so much more confidence.

“My advice to students going through mental health issues is to talk about it with your friends or teachers.”

Nazareth’s SACE coordinator Virginia Grantham said despite Hyacinthe having so many commitments she was determined to successfully complete her SACE.

“She used the flexibilities of the certificate to complete her education while maintaining her family and work commitments,” Ms Grantham explained.


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