A woman who grew up in Tom Price and went to graduate from the Uni-versity of WA is on a mission to empower young women to develop a healthy relationship with their bodies.

Having grown up in the Pilbara, Asha Holland, pictured, was overwhelmed and confused about considering university study after school until she discovered the Aspire UWA mentoring and support program.

The program aims to raise aspirations of a tertiary education and the opportunities available to high school students, particularly in regions where university participation rates are low.

Ms Holland was attending Tom Price Senior High School when Aspire UWA visited her school to show the opportunities a uni-versity degree could offer.

In regional areas, there is not the same exposure to and understanding of higher education opportunities after school compared to schools based in city areas,” she said. “I came from a small mining town, with many people in my town taking up careers in the mining industry and not considering tertiary education.”

Ms Holland graduated from UWA with a double major in sports science, exercise and health and has started a business called Alternatively Healthy.

“Through my university degree, I became fascinated about the link between the physical body and mental health, realising how crucial a positive mindset is to performance as well as daily life,” she said.

“I’m working to empower young women in my business to accept and love themselves exactly as they are.”