Larni Punch knows what it's like to work hard for something worthwhile. She had to overcome many seemingly insurmountable obstacles to become a disability support worker.

And her biggest cheerleaders were the team at IMPACT Community Services.

Larni, who started her course in 2019, graduated last Friday, April 17.

Elise is IMPACT's trainer for the CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability). And like all our trainers she works closely with the students supporting them to achieve their potential.

“Larni started my course unsure of herself and unsure if her medical conditions would allow her to come in every day,” Elise said.

“She lives on acreage out at Agnes Water so it was a fair hike for her most days and having a teenage daughter made it that much more of a challenge.”

During the course Larni also experienced external challenges, but she was determined to get to the end.

Her home was threatened during major bushfires. These prompted her to suspend her studies for a short time.

“I had panic attacks, and went into meltdown mode, but I rode it out, did as much as I could,” Larni said.

“I exercised, started eating healthy, got medication, and finished the course.

“I'm learning more about myself every day.”

Elise cares deeply about her students and supported Larni the best way she could by keeping her positive, most of which was outside work hours, because, as Elise says, “life does not have a timetable.”

But everything has worked out beautifully and now Larni is working permanent/part time in a primary school with its special needs department.

She feels proud and much stronger than she once was. Importantly, she loves the work.

Larni had been wanting to be a teacher's aide for at least eight years.

“I remember reading a book and saw the words 'teacher's aide' and I circled it as something I'd really like to do. “And now here I am doing it!”

You can follow your study dreams at IMPACT Community Services. Call 4153 4233 to find out more about our wide range of courses and support.