Amber's Story About a year before we met Amber, she rarely attended classes at school and if she did, trouble seemed to follow her. Almost weekly, Amber was involved in altercations that often left her feeling overwhelmed and not in control of herself. “I wasn’t proud of what I was doing at school, and I wanted to change. I just wasn’t sure how.” - Amber Her school had been trying hard to improve Amber’s behaviour, but she was hesitant to engage with support for a range of different reasons. After speaking at length with the school to try and understand her situation, Amber and her parent met with Senior YHOP Coach, Roxanne, to discuss and explore what support would better suit her. Roxanne and Amber decided to meet up weekly and simply talk. Nothing was off the table – they talked about everything from school to friends and even their fav clips on TikTok. This strong relationship led to Amber feeling comfortable and open-up about what was truly going on at school. Through initial conversations, Amber identified that the bullying she had endured in the past was influencing her behaviours and experience at school – something she desperately wanted to change. Amber had aspirations, goals she wanted to achieve and a future she wanted to be positive. Through strengths-based coaching and mentoring, Roxanne supported Amber to identify the drivers and triggers in her negative responses and steps that she could take to make more positive changes. “I developed a friendship with my youth worker and most importantly, I have developed a friendship with myself.” - Amber Meeting with YHOP gave Amber an outlet – someone that wasn’t from school or home. Having someone who meet her where she felt comfortable, catch up informally and listen without any judgement. This led to significant changes in Amber’s behaviour and allowed her to identify triggers, set boundaries and regulate her emotions. Deep down, Amber knew what she needed to do, but she just needed clear, impartial guidance to steer her in the right direction. “I have learnt to open up and be more trusting to people that try support me and I have also learnt to remain calm when it comes to tough situations.” - Amber We worked closely with Amber’s family, who were encouraged to support her to stay on track with her appointments (she can be a little forgetful!) The well-being team at her school played a big role in putting steps and strategies in place to support a positive re-engagement back into school. Although a little resistant at first, we hooked Amber up with appropriate technology to enable her to engage with online learning (thanks to our friends at Enable Technology) and worked week to week to support her. Now? She is excelling at her online studies! Amber was attending school every day pre-lockdown (with no notable incidents) and has progressed to virtual schooling with so much ease since lockdowns were introduced. “She is an incredibly funny, sweet and kind young woman and I am excited to watch her grow!” –Roxanne (YHOP Coach) We are so proud of how far Amber has come since we first met. Her mental health has improved, her confidence is growing, her relationships at home and school have improved immensely. She’s been linked up with other services for additional, wrap around support and above all – Amber is feeling far more independent and in control of her own life. “YHOP supported me by being there for me and letting me feel like I am not alone and that I can be independent, not dependent.” - Amber Amber is not alone. We work with hundreds of young people and invest the time, energy and persistence to unearth their goals and help them realise their passions to create positive pathways forward. If you would like to find out more, check out our Youth in Hume Outreach Program.