What is your dream?
My dream is to change the world, one young person at a time, by empowering them to reach their full potential and inspire brighter futures. I founded a non profit organisation called TIA at the age of 21. We work to empower young people in Bolivia who are leaving state care at the age of 18, and I am inspired every day by their resilience and determination to achieve their dreams. If I can play even a small part in their journey's then I will be happy.
How did you find your passion?
I got interested in the field of development when I went to Africa at the age of 18 after school. It was there that I learned the value of listening to others and walking alongside them to achieve their dreams and goals. Then at the age of 20 I came to Bolivia for the first time and once again was deeply impacted by the children and young people I met here. I realised that my calling in life was to work towards more opportunities for those who have not been so lucky.
Tell us about your dreams / goals for the next 12 months?
I am undertaking a Masters course in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development through ANU online whilst I live in Bolivia working for TIA. I am doing the masters program to enhance my skills and knowledge in the work that I am doing in Bolivia and look at growing our work elsewhere in the world, potentially in Australia.
How will the scholarship support your endeavours?
This scholarship will assist me in undertaking my Masters program at ANU, both enabling me to focus on my studies and on the work I am doing for TIA without having a heavy financial burden.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
I would say that the biggest career highlight I have had so far is to hear the personal stories of some of the young people who we have worked with, listening to their growth and confidence and knowing that I have played a small part in that change.
How important is inspiration in your life?
It's the key to any kind of success in life as far as i'm concerned. Without inspiration life is a constant uphill battle. It's part of human nature to look for inspiration and find it in the unlikeliest of places.
Who’s your hero (and why)?
I'm going to say a young man called Jhon Edward who I met in Argentina at a conference last year. He is from Colombia and has had an incredibly difficult life, having spent most of his life in state care orphanages. He has now created his very own communications company in Colombia and is often invited to share his story. I was totally blown away by this young mans positivity, energy, and zest for life which was totally contagious. For me that is a true hero, someone who has come out of adverse circumstances and who has made the decision and taken the steps to reach for their dreams and not allow their situation get the better of them.
How will you support your community in the future?
I will continue to do the work that I am doing in Bolivia, whilst also looking at ways of bringing elements of our work into Australian and Asian communities.
What’s the motto that you live by?
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; This is to have succeeded. (Success, Ralph Waldo Emerson).
Anything acoustic indie-folk style, think Angus and Julia Stone, Bon Iver, The Paper Kites, The Middle East.
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini.
Favourite TV Show?
If you had one message to share with other women chasing their dreams what would you say?
Don't let fear of failure hold you back. It's true when they say you can achieve anything you set your mind to, it's just a matter of persistence and self-belief. And if you fail along the way, you'll learn from it, grown stronger, and move forward.