Published on 15 November 2012
15 November 2012
Tsenla Beck-Cowper of Eudlo is on track to achieve her dream of becoming a midwife after participating in the University of the Sunshine Coast’s innovative Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP) program.
The 23-year old, who completed TPP in 2011, is now studying Nursing Science at USC with a view to switching to Midwifery in the future.
Having left high school during Year 12, Tsenla said she considered returning to study when she was 21, and her daughter, now three, was just six months old.
“I left high school at the beginning of Year 12 after my brother passed away as it was quite hard to continue with study and I just didn’t want to be there,” Tsenla said.
“After my daughter was born, I knew I had to do something because I wasn’t in the best space.
“I enrolled in the STEMM (Supporting Teenagers with Education, Mother and Mentoring) Program at Burnside and began TPP, basically, because a few of my friends were doing it.”
TPP helps prepare students (17 years and above) for a higher education and to provide an alternative pathway to tertiary study to those who would otherwise not be able to enrol in an undergraduate program. USC has partnered with STEMM to offer TPP to STEMM students.
Tsenla said the support she’d received from USC had been amazing.
“Before now, I would have thought I couldn’t do it, and I wouldn’t do it,” she said. “But TPP is a great way to get into university. It’s not too overwhelming because it starts you on the path in baby steps. I really enjoy being here at USC and being a part of the campus community.”
Tsenla said she hoped, through a career in midwifery, she’d make a difference to other young mothers like her.
“I have listened to a lot of stories from young mothers about not feeling validated during their pregnancy and during childbirth because of their age, and this really angered me,” she said. “So my push is to make a difference and to plug back into the STEMM program.”
— Michelle Widdicombe