Bridges to Higher Education Bridges to Higher Education

Elie Chemouni

Student at Loyola Senior High School

I did the Uni Step-up into Nursing program. As part of that I completed two first year courses that Nursing students would do, and attended two intensive weeks, doing lectures, tutorials and assessment just like undergraduate students would.

It was tough because it was during the school holidays, but I enjoyed it and it focused me more on my career choice, bringing me closer to achieving my goals. Looking back I'm very proud I was able to manage the extra work-load.

After participating I took a more serious approach to school, I put more effort into study, just because I have had a taste of my future goal. I find myself more motivated to achieve it quicker and feel positively about my future. The program gives you a head start on first year programs; it motivates you to continue doing well during your last years of high school.

Higher Education is great because you get to focus on what you enjoy; you work towards it and if you make it your life, then you will enjoy it more day by day. We don't know what life holds for us, but if we work towards our goals we are interested in, then life can take us all on a wonderful journey.

If I was talking to a younger student about continuing their studies at university, I would tell them that given they have already come so far, they clearly have the mind set and have what it takes to go further. I would motivate them to set their own goals for the future and work towards them. I think you don't achieve great things in short amounts of time. I would advise them to set small achievable goals, and keep going to fulfil their potential.

Anthony Pope - Elie's Teacher at Loyola High School


Through the Step-up into Nursing program our students can get a real sense of what university is like. They come back to school and share these experiences. We found that not just our participants but also their peers become stronger in their belief that through determination and commitment university is something they can aspire to.

As a result of this program the number of our students that go directly to university has grown immensely.

This levels the playing field for our students who compete with students from families with a long history of attending tertiary education. It also makes an impact on the entire cohort.

I saw a significant change in Elie. Through the Step-up program he has been exposed to university study, its requirements and to university students. Elie came back with greater confidence for his study at senior secondary level. The quality of his work improved tremendously, his time management improved and his results have improved.

This school's vision is to inspire the students in Mount Druitt that if university is their dream this could be a reality, that their dreams are not unrealistic.

We are very proud of our long tradition with the Step-up program and we are hoping to expand it in the coming years to more subjects and students. I can think of nothing more useful, more practical, or more engaging for the students at our school.

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