Bachelor of Community Services
Emma became a young widow at 35 and noticed there were no support groups for people under 50. Her passion to give the community better tools was
ignited. “There were many factors in my life that have thrown me down the path I’m on. This was one pivotal moment,” she says. Emma started a young widows support group that she still runs today.
In 2012, after completing a diploma, Certificate III and Certificate IV at a local community centre, Emma spent a year scoping out positions. She couldn’t find a job that she felt comfortable applying for with her qualifications. When Box Hill Institute offered a degree course that considered previous study, she jumped on it. “Studying at Box Hill opened up so many new areas that I couldn’t have previously pursued.”
Emma loved every minute of her two years of full-time study. She was fortunate to spend one year at the Box Hill campus and one at Lilydale. “The student support was fantastic. I felt lucky to be part of the brand new campus.”
Emma now works as a Youth Alcohol and Other Drugs Outreach Worker at the Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS). Although she had no intention of working with youth, she fell in love with it. "It found me, not the other way around. It’s funny; I wanted to do anything other than youth. But I ended up choosing YSAS for my placement as it was a dual diagnoses organisation. I loved it so much, I am still there."
She is also still heavily connected to Box Hill through her family. Her partner is studying a Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management, and her high-school-aged daughter is doing a course once a week in Equine Studies.
As to what is next, Emma feels like she is just beginning. "It is exciting. I am surrounded by some of the most talented people I’ve ever met. I'm trying to soak in their knowledge," she says. Emma also continues to upskill by taking short courses and doing internal training.