“High school was ok, but it wasn’t working for me.  It wasn’t benefiting me at all”

Peni found out about OCA through an external agency, he was referred to OCA’s level 2 carpentry programme.  Peni has completed level 2 successfully and re-enrolled in the NZ Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Carpentry).

Peni expresses, with gratitude, OCA has benefited him a lot, given him opportunities to do something he enjoys and helped with a career path.  Peni has tried other things but in his words “got sick of it”, He feels learning to be a builder in a real world environment and comparing this to other jobs, he has made the right decision.  He knows he won’t get sick of this, as he is passionate about learning more and building.

He shares the support around learning is very helpful, it has helped take away the struggles from home.  “Even when it is big or small support it keeps me going”.  OCA makes Peni feel welcomed and makes him feel like he doesn’t need to be shy or scared to share information.  He adds you can share the struggles to get the support required.  You aren’t judged, you can be open and comfortable.

Learning is fun, easy to understand.  He feels it is relevant to him.  In regards to the tutors, Peni has never received so much support.  He compares this to school, “they focus on the smart people and more support is given to them.  The others are left are behind and did not get the opportunities the as the smarter the ones”.

His first impressions of OCA were, feeling welcomed, change in mind-set he got from the introduction and orientation, helped him look ahead towards the future.  “You get the feeling you won’t fail, it is very good, a comforting feeling”.   He adds when you keep putting your head down and enjoy what you are doing, time passes quickly.

Peni would like to complete the level 3 programme and if he finds an apprenticeship he would like to continue studying, whatever can take him further.

Parents and family have noticed he has changed and is more settled.  “At family meetings, they say I plan ahead”.  Peni does plan more goals now and shares his aspirations with his parents.  He would like to take care of his parents first and foremost, make life easier for them.  He would like to leave the course and set himself up for his future, a good future for himself and his parents.

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