Sarah Booth used to be shy.
However, the past three years spent studying Social Services at Otago Polytechnic have imbued her with a confidence she believes she can use to empower others, too.
Sarah is about to graduate with a Bachelor of Social Services. It will be her second degree, the 31-year-old mother-of-one having completed an art degree three years ago.
“I went straight from high school to study art but pulled out in my third year. I was just too young and had other things going on. So I worked and travelled and lived life a bit,” Sarah explains.
“I ended up having my son, Caleb, who is now eight, and decided I wanted to go back and finish my art degree.
“I wanted to work in a field that was creative but also involved people. So I looked into incorporating counselling with my art and enrolled in Otago Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Social Services programme.”
After her first year of study, Sarah decided to specialise in Career Practice, one of four disciplines within the Bachelor of Social Services programme (the others are Disability, Mental Health and Counselling).
“You are really working with the person, helping them work through their values, interests and skills. It’s about enabling people to get the tools to navigate their way through life.
“We’ve also run a lot of expos and seminars, so I’ve learn about standing up in front of large groups – as well as one-on-one contact.
“I’m definitely more confident.”