Teen Parent Schools in New Zealand


Helen Woolner


The Face of Success

At 16, Helen Woolner was pregnant and about to ditch school.  But instead she heard about a school for young mums and enrolled.

Helen, a former student of He Huarahi Tamariki, was the face of the Victoria University graduation ceremony in May 2009 in The Dominion Post. Helen completed her BSc in Chemistry and went on to complete her Masters. Her thesis was titled “The Isolation of Secondary Metabolites from Tongan Marine Organisms”. Helen has continued her studies and is now enrolled in the PhD programme at VUW which involves interesting research on isolating certain agents in marine sponges for the development of anti-cancer drugs.

As Helen looks back on her early experiences she commented, “I never would have guessed this would be my future when I reflect back to when I was 16 and 6 months pregnant, enrolling at HHT primarily because they were offering a free lunch!”

HHT is very proud of Helen’s achievements.   She is an inspiration for other teenage parents at He Huarahi Tamariki to aim high and study at tertiary level.