Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Jil­lian Mc­Kee

ADIJA Issa faced a va­ri­ety of strug­gles in com­plet­ing her HSC, not the least of which was trav­el­ling from Fair­field ev­ery day.

The Chi­fley Col­lege Bid­will Cam­pus cel­e­brated its 2015 HSC high achiev­ers with an ap­pre­ci­a­tion as­sem­bly last week.

The school hon­oured a wide range of stu­dents, from those who ex­celled in academics and sport to those who re­ceived univer­sity of­fers.

One who re­ceived wide­spread praise from stu­dents and teach­ers was Ms Issa.

The 19-year-old is a refugee who mi­grated to Aus­tralia just five years ago.

“I came over to Aus­tralia from Tan­za­nia in 2010, when I was 13, and had to learn English. It was re­ally hard to adapt to ev­ery­thing here,” Ms Issa said.

“I be­came home­less in the last year of school and a fam­ily friend from Fair­field took me in.

“I trav­elled all the way from Fair­field for the last year, so ev­ery morn­ing I got up at 6am for school.

“I didn’t even think I was go­ing to grad­u­ate. I was cry­ing when I fin­ished; I was go­ing to drop out, but I made it.

“I pretty much got kicked out of home and my fam­ily friends were so sup­port­ive.”

Ms Issa is now search­ing for a child­care trainee­ship.

“I live in a refuge now and it feels like home – ev­ery­one there has been so amaz­ing.” she said.

Fel­low stu­dent Serena Ed­wards also cel­e­brated her own achieve­ments.

“I am re­ally glad to get into univer­sity, as I am the first one in my fam­ily to even grad­u­ate high school,” Ms Ed­wards said.

“My mum was so proud, she cried when she found out. I had never seen my mum cry like that but she is a sin­gle mother of three kids, so she was very proud.”


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