Kayla Power left school after Year 10 but at the age of 32 the Castle Hill mother of two decided to return to her exercise books to finish year 12, determined to clear a path to higher education and attain her dream career.

She is now encouraging other mature-aged learners to hit the books and finish their education, after transforming her life with help from TAFE NSW.

Kayla was in foster care from the age of six until she was 18 and was living at a youth refuge when she left school.

Pregnant at 18, she did various jobs before doing a massage therapy course. “I was fascinated by muscles and how they worked and I was fascinated by forensics.”

Watching her own children, Tahlia, 15 and Tyson, 12, tackle high school she was determined to fill in the gap in her own education and take it further.

She has just completed Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation at TAFE NSW which prepares students for Diploma level and university study or entry into the Australian Defence Force and is nationally recognised by educators and employers as an alternative pathway to Year 12.

Kayla decided to study part time over two years with the aim of entering university.
“Over the years I have developed a real interest in biology and forensic science and I knew that I needed to go back and finish the missing piece of my education so that I could pursue a career in those fields. When I started going to TAFE NSW I had never even written a proper essay before, but my teachers helped me to learn how to properly structure an essay, how to produce high quality work and inspired me to continue with my studies.

“It was much easier than I thought it would be,” she said. “I always sucked at maths but I did well in maths and I loved biology. I never thought that I would get this far but studying with TAFE NSW has completely changed how I see my future and has opened up a world of opportunities for me.”

Kayla has been accepted to study a Bachelor of Science majoring in Forensics at university and is back at TAFE NSW completing a Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques to ready herself for the next stage of her education.

“It’s all online at the moment and I should finish in July,” she said.

* Studies show that 1 in 4 Australians don’t go on to finish year 12.
* To find out more about the study options available at TAFE NSW in 2020, including the Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation, visit or call 131 601

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