A student of the USU’s School Tutoring Program, Ria Andriani was described by NSW Premier Kristina Keneally as “truly remarkable” for her state-topping effort in the HSC.
The Canterbury Girl’s High student, who has been blind since the age of five, was the state’s highest ranked Indonesian background speaker.
The 19-year-old took the exams on Braille paper and typed her answers into a computer. She moved to Australia in 2007, and had little time to learn not only English, but also English Braille.
“'It took me about a year to learn English and English Braille. I was reading lots and lots of books,'' she said in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Ms Andriani received special tutoring during her HSC years from the USU’s School Tutoring Program, a volunteer-based initiative designed to help students like Ria achieve their best potential results and pursue further tertiary education.
The program celebrated its 25th anniversary this year after starting in 1984 as a grassroots effort by USU volunteers.
It has since grown to incorporate 12 partner schools and assist more than 100 students with their study each week.
USU Programs Coordinator, Brendon McKeon, declared Ria’s achievement “fantastic news,” and said she is only one of the hundreds of success stories to come out the STP Program.
Ms Andriani said she is now concentrating on getting a place in university to study music and English, with aspirations of eventually becoming a performer.
Click here for more information on the School Tutoring Program