Following in Whānau’s Footsteps
Leo Palmer is following in the footsteps of his family by pursuing a qualification at NorthTec | Te Pūkenga with the goal of becoming a teacher. His mother and many aunties and uncles are all teachers at intermediate and secondary levels.
“My career goal while in high school was to be a teacher, specifically a secondary teacher,” says Leo. “My mum was a teacher as well and she taught intermediate. Plus, my aunties and uncles are teachers. So, I guess it was a tradition. I’m following in their footsteps I suppose.”
However, as the time came to study, Leo had another passion take hold. Which has led him to forge his own path while staying true to his original goal.
“When I finished high school, I knew that I wanted to go into the sports industry and study something relating to sports and health. I was originally looking at going down to Auckland, however, COVID hit, and it didn’t look like a good time to relocate. That meant I looked for options up in Northland and realised I could study at a Bachelor's level right here.”
Leo is currently studying the Diploma in Sport, Recreation, and Exercise (Level 6) at NorthTec | Te Pūkenga, having previously completed the Level 5 course. He will then pathway straight into the Bachelor of Sport and Recreation, an AUT qualification that is taught through NorthTec | Te Pūkenga, allowing students to get the same qualifications while staying close to home.
“Once I’ve finished the bachelor’s degree, then I just have to do a fourth year for my teaching degree to specialize in teaching education. I'll probably specialize in P.E. and health because those are the two subjects that I'm most passionate about. That way I can combine my two passions into one career.”
With family meaning so much to Leo, the ability to study at NorthTec | Te Pūkenga and stay close to home has been a definite perk.
“One of the biggest benefits of studying in Whangārei is being close to my family. I'm the oldest and I've got two younger siblings. My little brother is out of high school this year, and then my sister is doing a hairdressing apprenticeship. So, it's cool still being around them and seeing them grow. Whereas friends who have gone away don't get to see their families often.”
“A lot of my mates are up here as well and many of them are doing the trade apprenticeships. It's cool being able to stay connected to them as well. So that's why I stayed in Whangārei and why I chose to study this course. I have all of my support people already here to help me out when I need it.”