Inverell Community College student Teressa Gass is one of only eight National Community Colleges Australia 2020 Community Education Student of the Year Award finalists.
"Teressa worked in the same retail job for 26 years and was a highly valued employee, well known and admired by the community she served," said Inverell Community College campus coordinator Tania Archer.
"In early 2020, Teressa made a bold career move away from retail employment, enrolling in the Certificate III in Individual Support specialising in Ageing at Inverell Community College."
The awards celebrate the achievements of Australia's adult and community education students, based on career and study; communication, team and leadership skills; and community and other activities.
"Teressa believes that with determination and support, anything is possible - even changing career paths after 26 years," said Ms Archer.
"With an attitude like this, Inverell Community College believes Teressa is a worthy finalist for the award and is supporting her bid to take out next weeks' award."
Teressa's determination shone brightly throughout the duration of the course according to Ms Archer. "It was clear that her personal growth was an inspiration to her fellow classmates as she assumed the role of a mentor, assisting other students that needed additional encouragement and help," she said.
"I consider Teressa an outstanding ambassador for adult learning and to anyone seeking encouragement to achieve their academic and career goals".
National Community Colleges Australia 2020 Award winners will be announced next Wednesday, November 25