My name is Brooke* and I am writing this post as a past Youth Opportunities graduate, scholarship recipient, and someone whose life was changed for the better because of the generosity of people who believe in the potential of young people.
Growing up, my childhood was far from easy. My mother passed away and my brothers and I were raised by a single father who was in and out of prison. At home, I was having to look after my younger brothers, be a full-time high school student and work 30 to 40 hours a week to help support our family. I had also become a victim of family violence at the hands of my dad’s partners; physically, emotionally, financially, and mentally. I was angry for not having a mum, I felt abandoned and fearful.
We also moved around a lot, which made it hard to make friends and settle into new schools. Without stability in my life, and knowing we would likely move again, I gave up trying to make friends and going for opportunities at school.
I was isolated and questioning my worth.
By Year 10 I was feeling neglected, angry, and stuck, but thankfully, during this time, I found hope in the Youth Opportunities Personal Leadership Program. Joining the program was one of the best decisions I have ever made. In just 10 weeks it taught me that believing in yourself, your strengths and your abilities is the best skill to have in life.
Over time, I shifted my perspective, my self-esteem increased, and the Youth Opportunities trainers pushed me to overcome my challenges.
After the program I used the tools I learned and started to put myself out there for more opportunities, re-framed my self-talk, and gave myself the love and courage I wasn’t receiving elsewhere.
Now I am studying for my Bachelor of Primary Education, I have a scholarship through the Youth Opportunities Scholarship Program, and I am confident that I will be a role model for my future students because of what I learned through the program.
Without Youth Opportunities, I would not be the person I am today. The Personal Leadership Program gave me direction and guidance through the concepts they taught me, and the trainer’s words of encouragement helped me become a better version of myself.
I am so grateful for the people who make these opportunities possible through gifts to Youth Opportunities. I hope today, by sharing my story, you will decide to show your support and donate to help more young people fulfill their potential.
There are so many teenagers that will benefit from your gift, don’t miss the chance to change lives and our community today.
*Name and image changed