Don't be afraid to ask for help, is the message from Teliesha White, 22, who decided to get assistance on tackling her poor literacy skills.
Don't be afraid to ask for help, is the message from Teliesha White, 22, who decided to get assistance on tackling her poor literacy skills. Alison Paterson

Facing the fear and asking for help gives dream results

DON'T be afraid to put your hand up and ask for help.

Powerful words.

Especially when they are from a young woman who has faced her fears and not allowed them to get the better of her.

Alstonville's Teliesha White, 22, looks and sounds like any other bright TAFE student.

But in the past, Ms White struggled in school as her self-confidence took a dive as a result of learning difficulties, bullying and developmental delays.

However, she refused to let these issues define her.

Instead, she contacted a teacher, asked for help with literacy and numeracy and is now blossoming with her new skills.

Now Ms White wants to be a role model to other students who are struggling in school.

"Don't be afraid to put your hand up and ask for help," she said.

"My reading and writing may not be 100% better, but I'm improving and and I've now completed a Certificate I in Business."

And she's determined to continue her success, with more study to achieve her goal of running her own child-care centre.

In the meantime, Ms White said there needs to be more support in schools and more information about the alternate pathways available to students.

"Kids need to know there are other options, that they can speak up and ask questions and someone will be there to help them," she said.

Sadly, Ms White's experience of being bullied at high school is not an uncommon experience, with a report from the Australian Institute of Family Studies revealing one in every four students between the ages of eight and 14 experience bullying every few weeks.

It's all too familiar an issue for Robyn Moffitt, Education, Employment and Support Teacher with TAFE NSW, and one that she is often challenged by in her work with Foundation Skills students.

"Many students come to us as a result of a disconnection with their learning environment, this might be bullying, learning difficulties or family troubles, which result in gaps in their education that leave them out of sync with the learning cycle of their peers," she said..

"It has been utterly inspiring teaching Teliesha; she came into the classroom without a sense of belief in herself, and to see her today - working in a role as a professional communicator is something of a transformation".

For Ms White's mother Mardi, seeing her daughter fulfil her ambition and work towards achieving her goals is a dream come true.

"I'm so proud of Teliesha, she is an incredibly determined woman and can achieve anything she puts her mind to," she said.

The Foundation Courses offered at TAFE NSW are tailored to the needs of each student, designed to give students the basic skills in learning strategies, oral communication, numeracy, literacy and digital literacy and often acts as a launching pad for further learning.

For Ms White, there are still some big goals to achieve on the horizon but she will be forever grateful for the experience, learning and confidence that she found with TAFE.

"I really enjoyed studying at TAFE which is weird because I didn't think I would," she said.

"Robyn was so kind and patient and all of my teachers really catered to the way I learn - my teachers knew that I needed to see things demonstrated so they tailored the classwork to that."

For information about Foundation Skills contact TAFE NSW on 1300 628 233.