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My name is Ina; I am 35 years of age. I have been blessed with 4 children, three daughters and one son. The last time I went to prison was 2013, I have been a recidivist offender, 7 prison sentences, beginning at 3 months and just escalated to 2 and a half years. I never went to juvenile detention; I was a CYFS child from the age of 10 after being taken from my father’s home. First I was placed with family, no one wanted anything to do with me, and eventually I was taken
away and placed into foster homes that they have for kids. I was under CYFS care until I was old enough to not have to be.
I am looking forward to studying Hairdressing for the next two years, what excites me the most is the fact that I will use my creative abilities, something that comes naturally to me and I love doing, it also excites me that I will be certified and the possibility of having my own salon is a focus.
I have been working in retail for RAW at the RAW store and the Annah S pop-up store; both of these jobs have helped me to grow in many ways. I have gained self-confidence and a lot of experience, it has been rewarding on so many levels.
In the next five years I visualise myself being very successful; certified in hairdressing with my own salon and enough savings to buy my own home, possibly having all my children living with me permanently, being a great mum and the best role model I could possibly be to my children. Also I would like to be giving back to the women in RAW in any and everyway possible that I can to help others to reach their full potential the way RAW has done for me.

I will also be studying Waka Ama Level 4, with this course I will gain knowledge and skills and it is something I will love to be apart of. What I will love about it the most is the Tikanga here. It will help me to realign and find balance with who I am. Also being Maori this is very important because anything Tikanga helps me to feel grounded, accepted and apart of something far greater than myself. I love Kapahaka, performing as well. I love table tennis, 8ball and volleyball. I will participate in all sports but those are my favourites. I love 2nd hand shopping, finding bargains, love doing my nails and hair. I love Yoga and Tai chi. I love makeup and ensuring I present myself well on a daily basis. I love clothes and even altering them, I love quilting, sewing, dancing, socialising and doing things that make myself and others feel good.

I feel really excited and positive about my life now, this is the most time I haven’t used drugs which is huge for me and I am so proud of how far I have come and how much I have grown in this program. The best part is knowing that I will continue to not only grow but also thrive whilst on this journey.
The most important change I will make is being present with my children with every interaction I have with them. I will also become the best role modeI I can be, someone who they will look up to, be proud of and love.