Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Student beats addictions and finds new pathway to success

Student beats addictions and finds new pathway to success

Battles with drugs and alcohol ended Shane Timmerman’s career building bridges as a civil engineer, but now he’s conquered those addictions, gained two university qualifications and is building bridges of a different kind.

The 32-year-old graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts within the field of Criminology at the University of Auckland’s May Graduation. This follows his completion of a BA double major in Sociology and Criminology.

Now he builds bridges in the community at PARS, the Prisoners Aid and Rehabilitation Society in Auckland. Shane works with prisoners on their release from prison and their families to help them reintegrate into society.

The degrees and new job are a far cry from his old life.

Originally from Glen Eden but now living in Mt Wellington, Shane got into trouble as a young teen and ended up going to three high schools, the last one in Whangamata. When he was 14-years old he was thrown out of school and home.

He found work in the building industry and worked his way up from grading timber to building houses and then on to concrete bridges. But by his mid-teens he had developed drug and alcohol addictions and gang affiliations that stunted his career and saw him eventually lose his job.

A string of short stints in the building industry followed, but he couldn’t drop the drugs and alcohol and tried to end his life. An unexpected visit by his mother halted what could have been a fatal overdose.

After rehab he decided to enrol in the University of Auckland and acquire a qualification where he could help others. It was then he began studying sociology.

“I was taking some sociology papers on the side and thought, ‘this is so interesting’. I began to understand my positioning in society. That is what opened my eyes and I have just been fascinated ever since.”

“Learning about my ancestors and the history of Aotearoa gave me a basis to understand who I am as a person.”

Not only did sociology teach him an accurate history of New Zealand through the eyes of Maori and Europeans, it helped him understand and come to terms with aspects of his past.

His experience at University gave Shane the confidence to change, and his work at PARS will help others make positive changes in their lives.

He already has some words of advice: “Keep your head up and find those agencies that can help, find those avenues that are out there.

“Everyone deserves a second chance at an education and a healthy lifestyle.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: From Here And There

Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story
by Helene Wong.
This is the fascinating story of Helene Wong, born in 1949 in Taihape to Chinese parents: her mother, born soon after her parents migrated here, and her father, born in China but sent to relatives in Taihape at seven to get an education in English. More>>

Chiku: Hamilton Zoo's Baby Chimpanzee Named

Hamilton Zoo has named its three-month-old baby chimpanzee after a month-long public naming competition through the popular zoo’s website. The name chosen is Chiku, a Swahili name for girls meaning "talker" or "one who chatters". More>>

Game Over: Trans-Tasman Netball League To Discontinue

Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand have confirmed that the existing ANZ Championship format will discontinue after the current 2016 season, with both organisations to form national netball leagues in their respective countries. More>>

NZSO Review: Stephen Hough Is Perfection-Plus

He took risks, and leant into the music when required. But you also felt that every moment of his playing made sense in the wider picture of the piece. Playing alongside him, the NZSO were wonderful as ever, and their guest conductor, Gustavo Gimeno, coaxed from them a slightly darker, edgier sound than I’m used to hearing. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: King Lear At Circa

In order to celebrate it's 40th birthday, it is perhaps fitting that Circa Theatre should pick a production of 'King Lear,' since it's also somewhat fortuitously Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. If some of the more cerebral poetry is lost in Michael Hurst's streamlined, full throttle production, it's more than made up for by plenty of lascivious violence designed to entertain the groundlings. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Tauranga Books Festival

Escape to Tauranga for Queen’s Birthday weekend and an ideas and books-focused festival that includes performance, discussion, story-telling, workshops and an Italian-theme morning tea. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news