Krystal is clear on her scholarship impact
Krystal Flynn’s journey from financially struggling student to an exceptional teacher in remote communities is an inspiring demonstration of the impact of the Griffith Futures Scholarships.
Award-winning Bachelor of Education graduate Krystal Flynn received a Griffith Futures Scholarship to help her through the final year of her education degree. However, she says the scholarship did much more than just fund her way.
“It gave me the future,” she said.
“It was so tough at the time. I was away from home, working 25 hours a week to pay the bills, and trying to study. I wondered how I was ever going to get through,” she recalled.
“The Griffith Futures Scholarship took away that financial anxiety. It allowed me to breathe.
” After graduating with a Bachelor of Education (Primary), Krystal launched her teaching career at Tagai State College on Saibai Island, just south of Papua New Guinea.
“I think teaching remote is the ultimate teaching adventure.
“Each island and each community has their own unique language or language situation. Having grown up bilingual, I really connected with teaching in such a linguistically diverse place.”
Krystal thrived at the Kadhego Ngurpay Lag (Saibai Island Campus) campus, as did her students. So much so that in 2016nKrystal received the Excellence in Beginning to Teach Award from the Queensland College of Teachers.
While teaching, Krystal was also developing her awareness about barriers to education. This prompted her to study a Master of Applied Linguistics, which now also informs her new role in the Far North as a teaching and learning coach out of Tagai State College. This work takes her into many different classrooms across the Torres Strait Islands.
Krystal says the Saibai experience has been life-changing and life-affirming.
“There have been challenges. It is very isolated, with just a local store, the school, a health centre and a church,” she said.
“But I can’t imagine what my life would be without this experience. The people are wonderful, especially the children, and no matter where I go in life, I will be forever grateful for my time in Saibai and all it has taught me as a person and as a teacher.”
Krystal’s gratitude extends to again acknowledge the support she received via her Griffith Futures Scholarship back in 2014.
“I believe I was meant to teach and I love doing it to the best of my ability. The scholarship gave me the opportunity to do what I wanted to do and be what I wanted to be.
“To all those whose support makes these scholarships possible, I cannot thank you enough.”
Such was her belief in the life changing qualities of scholarships, in 2016, Krystal started donating to the Annual Appeal herself.
“I will never forget the help I received. I can’t imagine being the person I am today without that support. I am now in a position to help other students, so I give back to the Annual Appeal.
“I believe education is the best way to improve a person’s life chances. That’s really why I became a teacher.
“When you do your practicums and internships, you don’t have time for a part-time job, so the scholarship really helped me to get through.
“You’re not just a number at Griffith. They knew me by name, they knew my story, and they wanted to help that story continue.”
Scholarship recipient and Griffith graduate
Bachelor of Primary Education