Here at KARI we celebrate the success stories, achievements and accomplishments of people in the community. Past KARI scholarship holder, Mariah Reynolds is one of our success stories..
Mariah’s first experience with KARI was through the Vocal Identification Program (VIP), which a music teacher at her school introduced her to.
Mariah’s immensely proud of her identity as an Aboriginal woman. She attributes much of her success to the support she received through the KARI Scholarship Program.
“The program gave me monetary support, which took a lot of stress away from being in Year 12,” said Mariah. “It made it possible to complete my major work for Art without worrying about how I would be able to pay my school fees.”
Following the completion of her high school education, she started working part-time at KARI, working with children who have experienced trauma. Through this work she has become a role model to these children.
“Without KARI I would not be where I am today. When I finished school I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take in the future. After reaching out to KARI I applied for the position of Out of Home Care Project Officer and was successful,” Mariah continued.
It was in this role where she planned and organised events for the children and young people in care that Mariah realised her passion was to help people, which led her to pursue a career in Speech Pathology.
“I realised I could do more for the Aboriginal community,” she said.
Once Mariah graduates from the University of Sydney, she will become one of a small group of Aboriginal speech pathologists in Australia. She is an inspirational young lady with a keen focus on the importance of communication. She saw this as an area where she could really use her skills to make a difference.
Mariah came to learn of the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in terms of communicative development and opportunities. To her, this was simply not acceptable. She wanted to drive change in this area as well as see young Indigenous children not just achieving, but excelling.
“I want to inspire Indigenous kids. I want to be a role model that shows them that they can do anything in life. They should feel like it is a possibility and not just a dream,” she said.
Culture has played a huge role in Mariah’s journey so far. “Being part of KARI as well as being surrounded by proud Aboriginal people has made me realise that cultural pride is very important.”
Mariah believes if we want to see these children and young people succeed, they need to be proud of who they are as well as understand the power that they have in their culture.
“I am extremely proud of my culture and want to pass this pride on to the next generation of kids.”
Watch Mariah tell her story here.