Me & My Mentor: Academy of Mary Immaculate’s Grace Pucci and Amanda Siva

Amanda Siva and Grace Pucci at Academy of Mary Immaculate. Photo: John Casamento

Amanda Siva and Grace Pucci at Academy of Mary Immaculate. Photo: John Casamento

Academy of Mary Immaculate year 12 student Grace Pucci and careers practitioner Amanda Siva both know the importance of reaching for your dreams. With Amanda’s support and help, Grace successfully applied for a scholarship to Bond University in Queensland where she will study business and law next year.

Grace says …

 

Grace Pucci. Photo: John Casamento

Grace Pucci. Photo: John Casamento

 

I’ve been a student at the Academy of Mary Immaculate since year 7 and have been involved in the Senior Student Leadership Team this year. This has enabled me to work closely with school groups like our Justice Group and Earth@Academy Group.

I am very passionate about social justice and it’s one of the reasons I want to study a Bachelor of Law and Business next year. I want to help those in need, and I am not only concerned with the welfare of others, but also their rights and entitlements. I want to try to minimise the suffering and distress many go through in difficult times.

In an interview with Mrs Siva I discussed the possibilities of studying at universities in Melbourne and interstate. Mrs Siva helped me organise a trip to the open day at Bond University in Queensland.

I knew from the minute I stepped onto Bond’s campus that this was where I wanted to study. With Mrs Siva’s help, I completed my application, which included an interview here in Melbourne.

In October, I received a phone call at school informing me that I had been successful. I was incredibly thrilled to be one of eight applicants from Victoria, who received an Excellence Scholarship.

Mrs Siva has provided me with so much insight and knowledge, not only about universities and job outcomes, but also about what it means to be successful. She has taught me to not worry about what others think of my decisions. This has allowed me to accept that doing something that is a little bit different from everyone else is actually something wonderful and not something to be afraid of.

 

Amanda says …

 

Amanda Siva. Photo: John Casamento

Amanda Siva. Photo: John Casamento

 

I have been at the Academy for two years but I have been a teacher for 17 years in various schools in Victoria, interstate and overseas.

In 2009 I was teaching media studies and humanities when a position for a career advisor became available. I have always had a passion for student wellbeing and I saw working in careers as an excellent opportunity to develop my skills.

Moving into a careers role was a huge learning curve from the beginning. There is so much you need to know in relation to careers, such as scored and unscored VCE certificates, tertiary entry schemes, funding tertiary study, scholarships, VET programs, VCAL, apprenticeships and traineeships, and the changing world of work.

As well as working with students, my role requires constant learning and networking. The better you are at both, the more opportunities you can provide for the young people in your care.

I am lucky to be part of a fantastic network of career practitioners and tertiary representatives. It was through these networks that I was able to find the scholarship for Grace.

When I found out that Grace was interested in moving interstate and attending Bond University, I approached Bond’s Victorian representative, who offered to accommodate Grace and her father on campus if they wanted to come up and visit on their annual open day. Grace took up the offer and fell in love with Bond.

She came to me for advice on various aspects of her scholarship application before she sent it off. We found out on October 9 that she had received the scholarship and Grace was elated.

For Grace and her family this is life-changing. It will mean that she can study at the university of her choice without the financial burden often associated with that.

 

Academy of Mary Immaculate

 

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