Story by GO supporter and Stories for Simon illustrator Lauren Briggs.

There are many wonderful ways to describe GO Scholar Jorja Brown.  The three words that immediately come to mind are focused, determined and caring.

Jorja knows that investing in her education is the most powerful tool to gain the best opportunities in life.  Buoyed by receiving a GO Scholarship this year, Jorja has approached her Year 11 studies with maturity and dedication, ready to start her HSC year in 2022.  Additionally, Jorja has taken on studying nursing (Cert III in Allied Health) through an Allied Health Assistance program at CIT. Jorja also loves volleyball and reading. She holds down two jobs, waitressing and bartender training, working most weeknights and weekends.

Jorja’s Aboriginal heritage comes from her father’s side of the family.  Her mob are the Wiradjuri people, specifically from the Wagga area.  While Jorja is still on a cultural journey learning more, she has always been proud of her Aboriginality.  Last year she had the opportunity to visit cultural museums with her school, Canberra College and connect to culture through art and weaving. ‘I love how there is a sharing of stories through artworks.’

Since her early childhood, Jorja has always dreamed of being a nurse.  She loves helping people and has been inspired by the two strong and caring female role models in her life, her mum Michelle and grandmother Bettye, both whom were nurses. Jorja’s 20-year-old sister Maddie is also studying nursing.

It is no coincidence that Jorja is interested in a career that has a sole focus of taking care of others.  The female matriarchs in Jorja’s life, Michelle and Bettye, come from generations of strong women. My mum is a single mum and a really hard worker’ shares Jorja.  ‘She was studying nursing at CIT and is currently a home care nurse. She is such a hard worker; she does everything she can for us three girls.  It really inspires me and makes me so happy to see her doing things that make her happy.’  Unfortunately Jorja lost her grandmother when she was around 10 years old.  This has had a huge impact on her life as her grandmother was like a second mum, always there for Jorja and her two sisters.  Her grandmother positively influenced her mum’s life, which in turn made Jorja look up to her even more.  Her loving and caring attributes have left a strong moral imprint on how Jorja would like to treat others.

The same warmth and family values that Jorja receives at home, she receives with the GO Foundation.  She loves being part of such an inclusive organisation.  Jorja elaborates by explaining how easy it is to speak with Ashlie Rogers at GO. It was an effortless choice for Jorja to describe her relationship with GO in just three words, comforting, hardworking and inspiring.