Studying through SIT2LRN is allowing Maddie Bridge the opportunity to follow her mum Michelle’s footsteps into a career in conservation.
Maddie began studying through SIT2LRN at 15, determined to chart her own path towards a goal of becoming a wildlife veterinary technician or a vet nurse working with endangered species.
“I grew up immersed in wildlife. My dad and mum both have a great love of animals as does my older sister Chelsea, who is about to embark on pursuing her studies toward a New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care with SIT2LRN next year,” Maddie said.
“From a young age my parents encouraged me and my siblings – a sister and two brothers – to develop an understanding and affinity with our own endangered species here in New Zealand.
“Our family holidays were always tramping and camping in national parks and I developed a deep understanding and connection with the environment and New Zealand’s native fauna and flora. When I was 10, my parents took a year off work and bought a house truck and we travelled around New Zealand as a family venturing into remote locations and learning more about our unique landscape. My mum home-schooled me during this time and it was an opportunity for her to teach me all she knows and loves about New Zealand’s natural environment.”
Maddie completed the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care (Level 3), while also studying NCEA Level 2, along with other study.
“I wanted to progress toward my chosen career before I finished high school and the easiest way of doing that was to continue my NCEA Level 2 studies and gain the first of my NZQA qualifications at the same time,” she said.
“Studying through SIT2LRN allowed me to pursue both qualifications. My mum had just completed a Certificate in Environmental Management and highly recommended SIT2LRN. Studying with SIT2LRN by correspondence meant mum could continue to work and gain the knowledge she needed to pursue a career in conservation – I wanted to do the same.”
Maddie was inspired by her mum’s drive and achievements.
“My mum had an article written about her in this magazine in 2018. It described how she was successful in securing a job with the Department of Conservation and to go on to become the National Predator Free Communities Advisor.
“I remember reading this article and this led me to my studies at SIT2LRN. Mum was working full-time as well, and I remember hearing her up and about at 4am working on her assignments before she started work.
“I felt inspired by Mum’s commitment and knew if I worked just as hard, I could juggle two qualifications at the same time. My mum set a high standard though, achieving A+ marks in all her papers and when I started my study we joked about this, it became a bit of a challenge and I am pleased to say I achieved the same result in all my papers.”
SIT2LRN is helping create the pathway for Maddie’s dreams and aspirations.
“My overall goal is to be involved in animal rescue either here in New Zealand for the SPCA or working in wildlife management and the protection of endangered and threatened species. My SIT2LRN studies were the door to unlocking my goals.”