We should be our own motivators

Lara Ferri is from Mt Druitt, in Western Sydney. It’s a suburb with a bad reputation – but one that Lara passionately rejects. Lara wouldn’t swap her happy upbringing for the world.

Her secondary school, Rooty Hill High School, is rejecting those stereotypes too, creating exciting opportunities for their students to succeed. Through initiatives like the Young Entrepreneurs Program, students are encouraged to think like entrepreneurs, be creative and resourceful, and tackle real-world problems. Lara said the program helped her think independently and opened her eyes to new ways of thinking. She enjoyed “being the driver of my own story”.

Lara, who was affectionately known as the school’s “geek girl” due to her love of technology, is passionate about many things, including standing up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves.

Rooty Hill High School instils a strong sense of belief in its students, a culture that Lara says is infectious. “It doesn’t matter where you come from or who you are, you determine your own path,” she adds.

Now studying Law, Criminal and Community Justice at Western Sydney University, Lara’s future is full of possibility. Whether she pursues a career in social justice, technology, or even politics, Lara knows the entrepreneurial skills and self-belief she developed at school will stand her in good stead for whatever comes next. “We all like to be our own haters, but we should become our own motivators – see the greatness in ourselves,” Lara says. We think she’s onto something.

Hear her story below.

In 2020 we celebrated 10 years of philanthropy. Thanks to the work of our partners, with our support, more than 62,000 young Australians have used education to become the best that they can be.

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