By OLIVE SUKUN
IT was an emotional interview for Agatha Hudson after she received her Advance Diploma in Finance Accounting at the IEA College of TAFE graduation on Friday.
“I’m overwhelmed with joy today because it has been a struggle for me, financially, in achieving this paper and coming this far,” a teary but excited mother of two, Hudson, told The National in Port Moresby.
“I had to juggle my studies with work and family. I had to make a lot of sacrifices because I still wanted to achieve my dream in accounting.”
Hudson, 33, from Popondetta and Gulf is married and lives at Bomana. She was recruited by the Bomana Correctional Services (CS) as a warder, then moved to administration and is currently with operations as a junior security officer. Her aspirations in pursuing accounting came when she first worked as a sales and marketing person after graduating from Popondetta Secondary School.
In 2015 she was sponsored by CS when she started her Certificate 1 course.
She, however, did not perform well due to issues at home and with work. That led to the sponsorship being forfeited.
Hudson had to pay her own tuition fee and it became tough She had to plead with IEA to pay monthly instalments so she could continue.
“The college was aware of my situation and was understanding I needed to complete my studies so I was doing my studies home-based which was really helpful,” she said.”
“I had to budget money for my children’s needs and education as well as my own and it was too much. II had to get loans to make up for all that.”
Hudson managed to complete Certificate 2, 3, 4 and Diploma in 2015 and 2016 and advance diploma on Friday. When first daughter Natalie was three years old , she had to take her to school with her just so she wouldn’t miss a class.
Natalie, now seven, was excited about the occasion on Friday. It was as if she understood just how much it meant for her mother to have finally graduated after all her efforts in pursuing her dreams.
“I’m so happy for my mommy,” the bright and excited Natalie said.
Rose Filoua is Hudson’s close friend, more like a sister.
“Her (Hudson’s) family is back home and I have always been there for her so she always refers to me as her big sister whenever people ask,” Filoua said.
She is from Sepik and is proud of Hudson’s achievement and said she deserved the moment as she has gone through a lot to get this far. Hudson proudly wore her CS uniform at the graduation and when asked if it was her own money that she paid her school with so why wear the uniform?
She said with respect and a smile: “It’s loyalty, I’m loyal to CS even though I’ve struggled to pay for my own tuition fees.”
IEA Finance and Business trainer Madeline Maita said: “We are really proud of her and with her perseverance and strength she will take on anything.”
Hudson is now looking forward to pursuing her accounting practice so she will talk to her trainers again as finance is still a struggle.
“The only thing that motivates me to continue despite the struggles is my children’s future,” Hudson said.
“I want to build a better future for them so I’m struggling now to make a pathway, I want to leave a legacy behind for them.”
Holding back tears she said: “I give all the credit to my husband because he is the reason why I’ve managed to come where I am today.”