Taking next steps to independence
YOU couldn’t wipe the smile off 25-year-old Ariana Nioa’s face as she threw her mortar board into the air after graduating from STEPS Pathways College in Caloundra last month.
The Maryborough woman has called the college home for the past two years, studying as a boarding student living on campus.
For the past six months, her residence at STEPS has been funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Ariana – who has Down syndrome – has been learning how to maintain a tenancy, access health and local services, effectively bank and budget, use technology and stay healthy and well, with the goal of moving out and living independently.
“Ariana’s very confident now in her ability to get from A to B without any support whatsoever, so that’s been a huge change,” her mum, Anne, said.
Ariana is ready to embark on the next chapter of her life post-graduation, planning to move out with one of her college friends in the coming months.