Whānau Ora customer and devoted mother of four, Leah Taulapapa, shared her journey of becoming a Bus Driver, highlighting the valuable support she received from her family and our dedicated Whānau Ora Navigator, Karaat Ngateina Reay.

Leah was first inspired to take on bus driving by her sister’s encouragement. Her sister had seen the demand for Bus Drivers in their area and noticed that Leah met their position requirements perfectly. Quickly suggesting she apply. “The way I found this job was through my sister as she had always told me to give bus driving a go because I already had my full license and she had mentioned that there was a demand for Bus Drivers as well. Therefore, I wanted a more challenging and interesting job which is why I gave bus driving a go, and it’s been such an experience so far.”

Starting at the Howick and Eastern Bus Station on the 29th of November 2022, Leah initially never thought about becoming a Bus Driver as it seemed like a difficult job. However, after six weeks of training, her skills grew which helped her confidence in driving to grow even further as well. Her perseverance in learning the role gave her a new aspect of bus driving, and she is extremely thankful to her family and Karaat for encouraging her to continue during this time. Mentioning that when times get tough, she and her family always push through to keep each other strong no matter the circumstances. So, it’s no doubt that the motivation continued throughout her bus-driving career and got her to where she is today.

This experience left Leah feeling grateful. “I also wanted to acknowledge and give thanks to PHC for their support throughout this experience. Being a mother with four kids, it’s not easy but PHC makes it that much better and now my family is all better, well and safe. A special thanks to Karaat for your encouragement throughout my journey, I am very grateful for the love and support from you.”

Leah’s determination to step into a role outside of her comfort zone and confidently find newfound talents in it, has made her an inspiration to all that hear her story.

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