“I was in a dark place before attending Chapel School. My parents split up when I was young so I juggled between living in Perth and Sydney. I had attended 13 different schools between two states before even beginning Year 10.
Being moved around so much meant I could never make any friends or form any meaningful relationships and this took a great toll on me. I spent the majority of my time feeling anxious and depressed and barely attended school. I acted out and caused a lot of grief for my family, especially my dad who tried his best to provide me with as much stability as possible, despite battling his own personal struggles.
I ended up moving to Sydney permanently at the start of 2019 and lived in share accommodation as I wasn’t able to stay with Dad. I felt hopeless and lost and began to feel as though I would never amount to anything. The thought of going to school made me anxious and I didn’t see the point in going anyway.
It wasn’t until I got a referral to become a student at Chapel School in the middle of 2019 when things began to turn around. I remember at the end of my intake interview thinking: ‘I could actually do well here’, and although it took time and didn’t happen overnight, I began to make friends and even started to get good grades.
Since enrolling at Chapel, I have been attending class more than ever with the support of the youth workers and teachers who always take the time to check in on me and ask if I need help with anything. I was even able to attend my first school camp and here I learnt to ride a bike for the first time!
I can proudly say that last year was my best year ever. I ended up with really good results in all my assessment tasks and even gained part-time employment through the ACCOR program offered at the school.
To top it off, I won the highest award possible at the school presentation day in recognition of how much I have improved since I started at YOTS!
With all the changes and opportunities that Chapel has brought to my life I can finally see a bright future ahead of me.”
Isabel* is now in year 11 and until recently has been attending class remotely during the COVID-19 lockdown. She says that this did not deter her learning and she enjoyed collaborating on projects online with her fellow students.
*Name and image changed to protect the privacy of the young person