“I feel like this program has made me become proud of who I am and proud of how far I have come. I believe I have achieved what I wanted out of this program and more. I feel like I am a lot more motivated person I feel like I have a really good work ethic now and I know that I can do whatever I set my mind to do, although sometimes I can get distracted and have my downs, I feel I have a lot more ups than downs.” – Graduate
Having worked at Youth Opportunities since January, I was excited to attend my first Personal Leadership Program graduation in July. I had been told by my colleagues about how moving graduations were, but it was impossible to understand the effect until properly experiencing a graduation for myself. You can sense the pride and emotion in the room as you walk into graduation. The atmosphere in the hall was buzzing with the anticipation of eager graduates, families, and mentors.
Usually at any graduation or award ceremony, you feel nerves in the room, however, when chatting to the young people before the event started, the feeling was clearly completely the opposite. It may be hard to believe, but thanks to the program and trainers, these students were fully prepared to demonstrate their growth. What makes a graduation ceremony for Youth Opportunities so special is that it is facilitated by the young people, demonstrating the personal leadership learned by those graduating.
The highlight of the graduation for me was the star round at the conclusion of the ceremony. The young people write personalised individual stars (positive and uplifting communication) and pass them on to people in the audience who they’re thankful for. A conscious effort is made to include everyone in the star round to spread the positivity, and introduce stars to those aren’t aware of the concept. And, though the official star round was at the conclusion of the presentation, many stars were sent throughout the ceremony. The young people encouraged their classmates to succeed onstage and gave compliments when they came back from sharing their testimonial, having clearly grown to help make others comfortable and uplifted in unfamiliar situations.
While it can be hard to find the time to attend these graduations for our supporters – I hope by sharing just some of the quotes from the young people during the event you will be able to see the importance of your support in making life-changing opportunities possible. And if you can find the time to join us, click on the link for this term’s graduation timetable and RSVP via email to email@example.com
I urge you – if you can attend a graduation ceremony this term, please do! It is an experience that words can’t describe. You’ll leave with a smile on your face, a warm heart, and highly likely a tear or two on your cheek.
“Life after Youth Opps is looking very bright. I have a clear understanding of what I want to do, and I believe I have the right skills to follow through with it because of what I have learned over the journey of Youth Opps. I believe I can now be successful, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me.” – Graduate
“I joined Youth Opportunities because I wanted to gain motivational skills, a clear future direction and to be a better communicator but I gained so much more than these skills. Before Youth Opps I believe I was a quiet lost individual, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life or what I wanted to become.” – Graduate