As Kayla Karena Jordan hit wall after wall in her personal life a few years ago, she was not sure of her future at all.
But the wrap around support of her EIT Whanau, followed by some professional help has turned all that around.
With a Bachelor of Business Studies now in her sights, the 30-year-old Gisborne woman feels grateful.
Her story, which includes depression and extreme low points, has a happy ending.
Kayla lives in Tairāwhiti by choice.
“I’m from Kaitaia, Northland. I came here for R and V in 2009 and I have not left. I fell in love, had my kids … I’m still here,” she laughs.
In 2016, when the oldest of her two children started school, she started feeling restless.
“I thought I can’t do this (staying at home) forever and I felt I could do more.
“A friend suggested I go back to school, so I went to EIT and enrolled in the BBS programme.”
Kayla took a while to decide which area of business to major in and on the advice of a tutor, settled on accounting.
In 2018 her study became affected alongside problems at home.
“I got back on track by the end of the year but 2019 came along with its own set of problems.
Her tutor had noticed she was not showing up. He sat her down and asked her what she wanted.
“That talk, followed by professional counselling helped me get through the rest of the year and up to now really.”
Another huge factor has been the support of other EIT staff and her classmates.
“They have all graduated now but they helped get me back on track as well.”
Kayla was selected to speak at the EIT Te Pae Teachers conference. Among the topics, she shared her experiences regarding the support she received.
While talking about what was good about being at EIT, Kayla said it was all about the people.
“Here it is a small class and we only have each other so we bond together tightly, and all help each other. We all have the same goal, all trying to get to the end.”
She says the journey to get her degree has changed her life and she is looking forward to finishing her study in April 2021.
Looking ahead, she says she would like to give back at some point.
“Maybe I can be a mentor – maybe can help someone in a similar situation.”
But for now, Kayla is concentrating on the last few papers so she can graduate.
“I am sticking to one thing at a time!”.