Teen mum ready for law school
BREANNA Hastings was still sitting in a classroom the week before she gave birth to daughter Leah.
She was 16 at the time Leah was born on June 6, 2011. Just three months later Breanna returned to school to begin her Higher School Certificate studies.
"We always knew my main priority would be to go back to school," Breanna said. "I'd always wanted to do uni, so I needed to finish Year 12."
Leah is now two-and-a-half years old, and her mum has just completed the HSC.
"The school really helped me with everything - I did grade 12 over two years," she said.
Breanna attended South Grafton High School and attributed much of her success to her teachers.
"It also took a lot of late nights up studying.
"My sister Lauren did a lot of babysitting so I could go back to school."
Breanna said her family had provided a fantastic support network for her over the past few years.
"My family is awesome," she said with a smile.
Completing the HSC over two years meant her peers had already finished school when Breanna was tackling the last half of her studies.
"This year at school was a bit different because I didn't know a lot of my classmates," she said.
But her daughter was a big source of motivation.
"I became a single mum just after I had Leah - I was studying for her future. "It's just something I had to do under the circumstances," she said.
"I think in a lot of ways I wouldn't have studied as hard or have been as motivated if it wasn't for Leah."
Breanna was last week accepted into early entry under the Southern Cross University STAR scheme.
She will study a double degree in business and law over the next five years.
She will study via distance education, which means she can spend time with her daughter and her partner, Joe Jackson.
"It means I don't have to worry what ATAR I get," she said. "I am still curious though."
While most of her peers are away partying for their Schoolies celebrations, Breanna is happy at home with her little girl.
"I wouldn't trade it for the world," she said.
As for her future, she plans to stay in the area once her studies are done.
"I'm so close to my family here," Breanna said.