Just a few months ago, Mara Julius struggled to read and write and to speak in front of a group, no matter how small.
When the Wanganui Chronicle met her, Ms Julius was a bubbly, confident 22-year-old who was one of 13 women about to graduate from Training For You's Women In Learning course.
She was particularly looking forward to giving a speech at the graduation ceremony - something she would never have considered just a few months ago.
Ms Julius was drifting and "doing nothing" when she walked into Training For You on a whim and asked if they had any courses she could take.
"Being here is good. I've become so much more confident and I've upskilled a lot, especially in reading and writing.
"There is a real nice feeling here - it's like a family."
Women In Learning has inspired Ms Julius to think about her future.
"I'm going to enrol in Training For You's healthcare course. I'd really like to train to be a nurse, or work in a rest home or with people with disabilities," she said.
Tia Taurua moved to Wanganui from Paihia at the beginning of this year and was referred to the Women In Learning course by Family Works. She has been on the course for four weeks, and really enjoys the friendly environment.
"There's no judgment, you can relax and feel safe."
Ms Taurua is already considering her future, and hopes to one day train as either a cook or a social worker.
Tutor Diane Glennie said Women In Learning taught women literacy, numeracy, computing skills, communication, and work skills.
It was a 13-week part-time course and students could enrol at any time.
For more information visit www.trainingforyou.co.nz.