During her high school years, Afifa lacked self-confidence. She found the HSC stressful, and getting a low ATAR was a devastating blow. She could see her dream of a teaching career fading away.

That's when her cousin suggested a Diploma in Social Science at The College at Western as a pathway to a bachelor degree. It was the opportunity she needed.

She remembers her first assessment result. "The tutor was handing back papers, saying 'Someone's done really well.' I never dreamed it would be me. That's when everything changed. I started to believe I can do this." After The College, Afifa went on to complete a Master of Teaching at the University, winning the Dean's Medal. She's now a passionate teacher.