Growing up on Rakautatahi Marae in Takapau, supporting others and working as part of the team was always part of Jared Renata’s daily life. He’s carried those values into his studies as he worked towards the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Support Work) at the UCOL | Te Pūkenga Wairarapa campus.
Helping people has always been a passion of Jared’s. With first year fees-free study being offered from 2018, Jared felt this was the perfect time to combine this passion with an education.
“I had heard so much feedback about UCOL about how they support you with your studies
, and any other issues that can stop a person from achieving. To me, that’s what matters: being like a family and helping each other.”
Jared (Ngati Kahungunu
) says the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Support Work) has given him a good range of skills to provide support for people with disabilities or in aged care.
“It teaches you things like communication, empathy, and to notice changes in people’s health, whether it’s mentally, or physically.”
A highlight for Jared was going on placement at a retirement village, working with patients in palliative care.
“That was an eye-opener and made me realise how hard it can be for people in those situations. You’ve got to have a passion for it and to want to make people happy. I really love looking after the elderly because they’ve spent their time looking after others.”
Jared says the support he’s received from his lecturers and his classmates has made a big difference for him.
“I’ve made great friends here. The awhi, or love and support, you get here is amazing. UCOL has got me out of my shell. Here they really build you up.”
“We’re a family in our class. We text each other if we’re sick, and take notes for anyone who is away.”
After he’s finished the programme, Jared wants to pursue further study and eventually work in mental health and addiction services.
“Here in the Wairarapa, addiction and mental health are big issues, and we need more males from different cultures working in that area. Sometimes it’s easier for people to open up to others who have been through similar experiences.”