Nelson Young Parent School students Mee Meh, Levana Grout, Chauntalia Fleming-Ngatuere and Angelique Thorn have been awarded the schools top honours for 2020. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Young mums turn lives around


A young mother says she would be “doomed” without the school which has been helping her further her studies while raising two young children.

Nelson Young Parent School have honoured their students’ hard work and determination to make the most of their studies despite a year that has been impacted by Covid-19.

The school presented four awards to its top achievers, who are all raising young children as well as advancing their academic studies.

Angelique Thorn received the Nelson Soroptimist Personal Development Award which head teacher Philippa Trewavas says acknowledges the student’s commitment to personal growth.

Angelique says, when she started at the school in 2017, she was 15, pregnant and lacked any motivation to go to school.

“I didn’t ever go to school; I just didn’t want to get up.”

Fast-forward to 2020 Angelique has recently welcomed her second child, has great attendance and is working to complete a youth work certificate.

“My goal is to become a youth worker; I really want to work with young people and I want to slowly gain other degrees in social work and counselling.”

Philippa described Angelique as a stubborn teenager turned mature young woman.

“After many battles I can now proudly stand here with you, Angelique, and say we did it … look at you now, a mother of two who knows what she wants to do with her life. A mum who not only has goals and aspirations for herself but also for her family of four, and you have a clear path of how to achieve them.”

Angelique says the school has been an amazing support.

“I really don’t know what I’d do without the school. I’d be doomed, pretty much.”

Levana Grout was awarded ‘Top Achiever’ and was described as a student with a focused plan who has not wavered from it.

Mee Meh was presented with the ASPIRE award and Chauntalia Fleming-Ngatuere the Nelson Soroptimist Education Trust Award.

Philippa says all students have an individual education programme to allow them to reach their career goals.

“It is a special place to teach, it’s emotional, it’s happy, it’s sad; you’re so invested in every single part of the students’ lives, not just the teaching part. But I’m as proud of them today as what I was last year and the year before.”