Jenna Ahmat believes that no matter what your culture, living situation or your history with school is, everyone has a chance to change their story if they have enough belief in themselves and the motivation to achieve great things.
Jenna is Box Hill Institute’s 2019 Indigenous Student of the Year; a significant reminder of how far she has come. She said, “I didn’t even think I would have graduated high school to now, two years on, I’m very proud of myself. Winning this award is a great reminder to myself to never limit my opportunities out of fear,” she said.
“If you have the confidence in yourself, it will be visible and that is important.”
After completing a Certificate IV in Government course at Box Hill Institute, Jenna now has a cadetship with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. She said, “My course was highly informative on a variety of topics including management and leadership skills, I feel as though the conversations and people I was able to learn from is something no one can take from me.
“The guest speakers we got to meet and interact with has helped me understand so much about my future choices career wise and has created a broad prospective on my own work ethic,” she said.
Initially, Jenna was surprised by the course content. Given the name of the course, she’d expected it to be based on basic parliamentary systems or the Australian Commonwealth but there is so much more to it. The importance and power of emotional intelligence is one of the areas that caught Jenna’s attention. She said, “It will always stick with me that having a higher emotional intelligence is way more important and beneficial for your future career than having a high IQ.”
Winning this award means so much to Jenna. During her studies, she was working in a cafe and struggling to pay rent and bills. After finding out that she won, she was shocked but excited and more than anything, she wanted to tell her family, who couldn’t be any prouder.
Jenna said the best part of being a Box Hill Institute student is the support you get. She said, “The support is always there. The structure of our course was well thought out in a way that made every topic make sense as to why we were discussing it and how it connects with the previous topic.”
We wish Jenna all the best in her career.