Spring was digging its heels in with flooding and rain as Changing Gears trainers Linda and Nikki met Pavillion Epping students Savhannah, Lilly, Brooke, Enisa and Aaidan, but nothing could dampen the fire this motivated group had for learning.
Linda and Nikki flew through their Tuesday class with the students covering driving attitude and road signs in record time. Following this first download of information and some practicing of what to do at uncontrolled intersections, the students in the group were already impressing their trainers.
Undaunted by illness
When Linda was struck down with illness, Nikki returned on Wednesday to continue the program. After demonstrations of how long 140 metres is, (the stopping distance for a car going 100km/hr), and discussions on sharing the roads with other roads users, the group blitzed through a series of practice tests.
“If you can get one hundred percent in two practice tests in a row, I'll be satisfied you've learnt everything you need to know to pass your learner permit test and drive safely. Then you can go,” Nikki told the group. A very motivated Savhannah, who had done extra tests the previous evening to practice, did this easily, followed by a studious Lilly.
Enisa, Brooke, and Aaidan all demonstrated tremendous tenacity, and overcame their anxiety. They did repeated tests until they achieved exemplary scores. Aaidan even stayed after class to finish his final test.
“I’m really proud of this group and their efforts,” trainer Nikki said, “they’ve demonstrated true commitment to learning and driving safely on Victorian Roads.”
On the day of the test, Pavillion Epping staff member Nicki Nelis drove the excited group of students to the Coolaroo VicRoads office where they met trainer Nikki and VicRoads team member Adrian.
Enisa ubers to Coolaroo
“We couldn’t find Enisa,” Nicki told the staff, arriving with four of the students. However, Enisa demonstrated real commitment to the program, taking an uber to the Coolaroo VicRoads office.
“I didn’t remember to set my alarm to get up for the bus,” Enisa admitted, “then my mum asked me if I had my test today! I freaked out!"
Turning anxiety into excitement
“Well, you’re here now,” trainer Nikki replied, “and I have every faith that you’ll do well.”
Sure enough, Enisa, Aaidan, and Brooke all got brilliant scores. Lilly, in getting ninety seven percent, did phenomenally. Sahvannah achieved one hundred percent, exceeding all expectations.
“I’ll see you after law school!” trainer Nikki joked, then she turned to the group, “but seriously, you can all be proud of yourselves. Your hard work has earned you these great results. You can take what you learnt; your mastery of anxiety, your application, your hard work, and apply it to anything you chose to do in life.”
One hundred percent special
“This is the first time I’ve ever seen someone get one hundred percent!” VicRoads team member Adrian told the group.
“We couldn’t have done it without you,” trainer Nikki replied. And this is true, without Adrian’s help, the support of Coolaroo VicRoads Manager Chloe, and Pavillion Epping Campus and Wellbeing Coordinator Nicki Nelis, (who drove the students to VicRoads), our program wouldn't be possible. So, it was with great delight we included Arian and Nicki Nelis in our group photo.
Pavillion Epping Campus and Wellbeing Coordinator Nicki
Nelis with Sahvannah after she achieved one hundred percent.
So, are Pavillion Epping students successful? You bet your cotton socks they are! One hundred percent!
Possibilities open up
Driving opens up so many possibilities for disadvantaged young people. Classes are supportive, students and trainers inspire each other, showing the way for young people to overcome their obstacles to driving and experience success.
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