IT IS said that some young people have an attitude problem.
Well, Alina Bonaventura has attitude, but it's certainly no problem.
Alina grew up on the family cane farm at Clayton where her father would tell her stories of his childhood.
“My father sold his farm in 1996 when his health failed, and passed away in 1999 when I was 15.
“I'd left school at the end of Grade 9 due to health problems, and my brother has severe mental impairments, but I had to find a job to help support my mother.”
After gaining a Certificate II in Retail at TAFE, Alina returned to school and passed Year 12 with High and Very High Achievements.
She worked at KFC for four years, then decided to follow her dream to go to university, so completed the STEPS course and is now studying a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.
She has volunteered for 10 years as a community visitor, and although her university commitments mean she no longer has time to visit Meilene and Millbank nursing homes or volunteer as a Rotary Reader at schools, she continues to play piano and sing for the residents of Pioneer Lodge and Gardens.
“It's lovely to see the smiles on the residents' faces – they all love the chicken dance; the diversional therapist encourages them to move their arms to the dance.”
Alina had started writing a novel when her father was alive but put it aside when he died.
“At the end of STEPS I decided to get back to writing it so I've been working on it for the past 18 months.
“My brother has autism, schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and I have an interaction board in his unit and he is remembering my plot lines and his carers tell me he is talking about the characters and the story and it takes his mind off his obsessive-compulsive disorder.”
Alina's writing has contributed to her being granted a CQUni Equity Merit Scholarship.
She has had to deal with a lot in life, but she remains determined to build a better future for herself, and her positive attitude is reflected in the way she gives to the community.