When Juanita first came to Youth Projects she was feeling very lost and was in a dark place. 

As a young person, Juantia was referred to us from an external organisation and came in experiencing severe crisis. Immediately Juanita was connected with one of our YHOP Coaches to come up with a plan, first and foremost, on how she could keep safe.

From there we connected Juanita with the right emergency services to get through the immediate crisis. 

Juanita later shared that "coming in and having a plan set in place was probably one of the biggest weights off my shoulders. And to know that there was someone else who knew what was going on."

After we worked through Juanita's immediate needs, we helped get her mental health under control and identified other areas in her life where we could create some stability and hope. That meant working with her on accessing material aid, seeing healthcare professionals and looking at ways to engage into some form of training or study to help start paving a positive way forward.

"Youth Projects to me has almost been like, my safe place."

"After school, if I’m a bit stressed or whatever I know that I can come in and make a coffee, play the piano and sometimes I just sit around because I know there’s always lots of people around that I can talk to."

Since coming in, Juanita has got her mental health under control, is feeling much more stable and is enrolled into a Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs at Melbourne Training Options.

She has also taken over a small business in Clifton Hill running a small cafe. Our YHOP Coaches set Juanita up with a business advisor to provide additional support and mentoring to help her succeed.

Watch Juanita's story below.

Juanita is a reminder to us, each and every day, that every young person deserves an opportunity. Deserves to be heard, deserves to be helped.