BlogTrailblazerTaya Higgins – Cerdon College, Merrylands | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Taya Higgins – Cerdon College, Merrylands | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Taya Higgins

What are the Trailblazer Awards?

The Trailblazer Awards celebrates Year 12 students beyond their ATAR, recognising those who have overcome personal challenges and used their final year of school to positively impact their community.

Our Trailblazers will have the opportunity to network with industry leaders, build their personal brand and profile as a future leader, get exam ready in our 1-day HSC Trials Accelerator, and so much more!

Find out how Taya navigated Year 12 differently throughout 2022!

Introducing: Taya Higgins

Category: Business & Entrepreneurship

School: Cerdon College, Merrylands

State: NSW

Career Aspiration: Working within the medical industry


  • Running a successful small business that sells smash box chocolates
  • Competing in the Junior Oztag championships
  • Being the 2021 Social Justice leader at her school

What makes Taya a Trailblazer?

Taya shows amazing initiative and dedication to her work, being part of many co-curriculars such as debating, club netball and volleyball, and Polynesian dance performance. Taya has also completed extensive work experience for her VET course ‘Entertainment,’ setting up different audio sources, lighting and audio operation for many different dance competitions and music performances. This helped Taya to gain really beneficial problem solving and communication skills, as she had to solve and navigate issues such as faulty wires or equipment. With all of these skills under her belt, it is no surprise that Taya has been able to start a successful small business in September of 2021, selling decorated smash chocolate boxes that can be catered to almost any occasion.

After starting her small business, Taya began to amass a small community of chocolate lovers who were happy to support her work. This has led to Taya receiving 2-4 orders a month, and her business making over $2500 since it began! Taya sells her smash chocolate boxes in various sizes, each box containing a large smash chocolate, a wooden hammer depending on the size, chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered cake popsicles surrounded with either caramel popcorn of marshmallows and decorative chocolates! Taya also provides the option of special additions such as photos or short messages.

Setting up this business helped Taya to develop strong organisational skills as she learned to divide her time between school work and her small business. These skills will be really beneficial to Taya in the future, as she continues to strengthen her efficiency and teach her to prioritise well.

Despite her ability to organise and manage her time well, completing year 12 has still had challenges for Taya! She has had to make sure that the stress and pressure of year 12 doesn’t affect her relationships with family and friends. Year 12 can be a challenging year, so it is no surprise that Taya has had to focus on her communication skills to explain when she is feeling anxious or stressed. From all this, Taya has learned to prioritise her health and wellbeing above all!

“I am slowly learning how to express what I am feeling, which is allowing me to prioritise my wellbeing over everything, although it is still an ongoing challenge.”

In the future, Taya hopes to work in the medical industry. While she is not sure what area exactly, she has explored options related to nursing, physiotherapy, and medical science!

Taya is a strong-willed individual who cares deeply for the health and wellbeing of others. Her commitment to not only her small business, but to all of her co-curriculars and schooling, is highly commendable, and one of the reasons why she is one of our Top 50 Trailblazers!

The Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer Awards

The Trailblazer Awards aim to identify and celebrate students who use their final years of school to invest holistically in the skills and experiences that will maximise their own future opportunities and make a contribution to the future of our society.

Our winners for the Year 12 Trailblazer Awards have demonstrated initiative in volunteering for their school or community, have participated in co-curricular activities, and have held leadership positions within their schools.

Learn more about who placed in the Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazers here!

About Art of Smart Education

At Art of Smart Education, we’re an award-winning provider of holistic tutoring and mentoring for students in years K-12. Our mission is to help students answer the difficult question, “What am I going to do with my life when I finish school, and how do I get there?” 

We understand that true success involves mastering study, career and leadership skills while maintaining your wellbeing, not just excelling in academics and as a result, over the last decade, we’ve supported over 10,000 students to achieve their best and maximise their options for life after school.

Each year over one million young Australians, parents, and teachers access our guides, videos and resources to navigate the journey through high school.

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