NMIT commerce student Jodie-Anne Colvin celebrates after graduating on Friday. Photo: Brittany Spencer.

Six years, four kids, one degree

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Among the 640 students who marched up Trafalgar Street on Friday to celebrate graduating from the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology was one “elated” supermum.

For six years, Stoke’s Jodie-Anne Colvin juggled giving birth to twins, late nights studying, raising her family, the stress of exams, part-time work and volunteering in the community.

But on Friday, after finally receiving her Bachelor of Commerce, she couldn’t have been happeir. Jodie-Anne says last week was a massive milestone and stepping onto the Trafalgar Centre stage to get her degree was indescribable.

“It’s amazing, I didn’t think this day was going to come, it’s been a very long process but I’ve made it, it’s quite surreal.”

Jodie-Anne says she hasn’t done it alone. She’s had the support of her family, in particular, her father Neal Rider who is barely able to read and write.

“I’m very proud of her,” says Neal. “I left school at 12 so it’s amazing to see her get a degree, I have three children and now all of them have qualifications, it’s the best feeling.”

Jodie-Anne says she wanted to pass on the importance of education to her four children who were all there to support her on her big day.

“They’re really proud of me,” she says with a big grin. “It was really important for me to show them how important it is to go and get an education.”

Already, Jodie-Anne’s daughter Lucy, 8, has decided she wants to be a doctor.

“She’s got big plans now too, once they see what can happen with an education it makes a real difference and I couldn’t be happier.”

The accounting major joined King Salmon as their newest accountant last week.

“It is a great position to be offered, it has been a very big week and I’m so happy.”

A grand total of 1095 awards were given at the Nelson, Auckland, and Marlborough campuses and Te Toki Pakohe department for the end of year graduations.

NMIT’s Interim Chief Executive Liam Sloan says he couldn’t be prouder.

“The hair on your arms go on their end, and to see the people lining the streets cheering and taking photographs of the graduates, and to have shopkeepers stopping business to walk out and applaud them, is remarkable.”

“I am immensely proud of all of our students, they have done a credit to themselves and to NMIT, it was a privilege to have been part of their journey and I wish them every success. I am so proud of the teaching team, our support team, Darryl Wehner and the NMIT Council, and the whole engine of NMIT, they all had a part to play.”

“I would also personally love to thank everyone who has supported us and our students. All our key partners and the city of Nelson including the local coffee shops who supply coffee to our students when they’re stressed to the heavens, don’t realise the role that they’ve played, so thank you, everyone.”