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First dAy OF thE rEst OF thEir LivEs It was a day of tears, pride and pure joy, as members of the STEPS Pathways College community gathered to celebrate its inaugural graduation in which five independent students, all with different disabilities, were able to take the next steps of their lives. Students Tom Amerena, morgan mcCarthy, Kate Gadenne, Ariana Nioa and Joel Gerick all had a dream to one day live independently and on April 12, 2019, they achieved that dream. After participating in the STEPS Pathways College program, a love for AFL and aspirations to work in the IT

The initiative was the first of its kind in Australia to offer this type of intensive training

industry inspired Tom to make the move to melbourne. Ariana who originally was living with her mum in maryborough felt her life had now centred around the Caloundra community. So, the 25-year-old hopes to move in with classmate Alana at their own place in the future. Ariana is now loving her job working as an office administrator. Federal member for Fisher, Andrew Wallace was present on the day and said he was astounded by the achievements of Carmel, the team at STEPS Pathways College and most importantly the students.

L-R Stephanie Patey, Morgan McCarthy, Kate Gadenne, Ariana Nioa, Jason Keen and Tom Amerena.

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CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF STEPS

The initiative was the first of its kind in Australia to offer this type of intensive training, but the graduation proved the program’s ability in helping these students to grow into confident and capable adults, now free to take their own individual pathways. With college expansions on the horizon, the hard work never stops but managing Director of STEPS Carmel Crouch said she is looking forward to watching many more students walk on stage to receive their graduation certificates because for her, that moment had been 30 years in the making.

PHOTO: Contributed

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Steps - Celebrating 30 years  

Steps - Celebrating 30 years

Steps - Celebrating 30 years  

Steps - Celebrating 30 years