Rising Star: Jess Thompson

Jess had to face some significant barriers during her schooling, including learning difficulties as a result of having missed lot of primary school and early high school. After completing her QCE last year, she got a full-time job and is now completing a Certificate III in Rural Operations.

“I was at high school in Darwin at first, and I was in an alternative learning program because of issues with my literacy and numeracy that happened because I didn’t really go to school until around Year 5,” says Jess.

“My mum had issues with addiction and pretty early in my life I was put into the care of my Nan. In Year 10, Nan moved to Townsville, and because my mum couldn’t care for me, I moved as well.”

“In Townsville, I was put into a mainstream program at school, which was very hard for me. I was so anxious. But then I met one of the Stars Mentors and she really helped me calm down and feel okay.”

“Stars had a huge impact on me and my education. They would take time out of their day to help me and talk to me – and when I wanted to drop out, they convinced me to stay and supported me with everything.”

“Somehow, I completed my Queensland Certificate of Education last year and I’m really proud of that.”

“I’m interested in land management. When I finished Year 12, Stars supported me to get a job with a business that works in that area, and I’ve been with them for six months now. I love my job!”

“Through my work, I’m studying a Certificate III in Rural Operations and once I get my P-Plates in October, I’m going to be made a Team Leader.”