Letisya's Story Having only arrived in Australia in 2019 as a refugee, Letisya knew very little English and was wondering where to even begin starting her new life in an entirely new country. We first met Letisya only weeks after her arrival when she first engaged with our Transition to Work program to help her find a job. Within minutes of our first chat with Letisya, our youth coaches knew that there were so many other variables that Letisya needed support to navigate first. We very quickly determined which language Letisya felt comfortable communicating in and matched her with one of our youth coaches who could speak fluent Arabic. Not only that, our amazing, bilingual youth coach – Perla – had also been in a similar situation to Letisya just two years prior to that so bought an enormous amount of lived experience to the judgement free support we could provide. In March 2020, Letisya commenced a Certificate II in English to provide her with the foundation that she would inevitably need to work, but most importantly – the confidence of understanding her new city. Within weeks, Melbourne was plunged into our first lockdown and Letisya was forced to complete her training online, using Zoom for the very first time. Every step of the way, Perla was there to support Letisya - from getting her used to logging in, engaging with the training, and navigating the course work. By July, Letisya was eager to learn more. She had shown such resilience to this point, that anything was possible. “Letisya is a dedicated young woman who loves to learn and is extremely resilient. She loves to help her family and wants to ‘better’ herself. She is always on time, is always so appreciative of support and I am constantly inspired by Letisya. I am so proud of her achievements.” Perla supported Letisya to enrol into a Certificate III in Business Administration with Kangan Institute and by February of this year, Letisya had passed and received her next Certificate. We also supported her to participate in youth consultation projects with some of our partners (like CoAct) and continue to support her adjustment into the local work culture. By this stage, Letisya was able to afford the time (and had the confidence!) to pick up a casual job just around the corner from her home in Melbourne’s north to start building financial independence. After finishing her qualification in business administration, Letisya went on to start a course in Hairdressing leaving only a few practical classes remaining before she's officially finished that qualification. AND most recently, Letisya enrolled into a Certificate IV in Information Technology but was forced to press pause on that whilst she recovered from Covid-19. Knowing that 2021 would continue to be a bumpy ride for young people (#CovidVic) we used this year to build young people’s capacities and focus on getting them ready to launch into recovering job markets. Letisya included. We know that as the job market bounces back out of Melbourne’s final lockdown, Letisya will be snapped up by an employer and she will continue bringing the same resilience, eagerness to learn and passion that we’ve come to admire of her. For more information on our Transition to Work or any other of our youth-specialist services, we'd love to hear from you.