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Layla’s* school presentation night great way to finish a wonderful year with Rise

Rise student Layla* has come a long way during her time with us. She has gone from not wanting to go to school and having issues in the playground to being nominated as a school leader, becoming a T-Ball captain, and having a large group of lovely friends!

Her mentor, Caity, says that Layla has “just flourished! She has amazed us every step of the way!”

Layla invited Caity to her school’s end-of-year presentation night, a great way to cap off her time with Rise and demonstrate how far she’s come.

She had been excited about this big event for months and gave Caity regular updates on the progress of her presentation during their sessions. “I just had to see the final product!” Caity said.

Layla chose to create a presentation about vaping and the effect it has on teenagers, an area she’s interested in as a soon-to-be high schooler and as her parents vape, a habit she doesn’t like.

Many of her friends commented that her presentation was fantastic and that they didn’t know a lot of the information she gave. They said it was eye-opening to see what they were putting into their bodies.

“She was able to share some great facts about the topic, which she had researched thoroughly,” said Caity.

“She has amazed us every step of the way!”

When we met Layla*, she was having issues connecting positively with her peers at school. Her father had been in custody and was soon to be released, and this transition period and changes were bringing up big emotions at home.

She also found it challenging to transition back to the school environment after an extended period at home during COVID, during which time, like many young people during the pandemic, she’d become withdrawn.

Her teacher referred Layla to SHINE for Kids to support her in reconnecting and engaging with her school community.

From day one, Layla was an outstanding mentee.

She was “really listening and responding to everything we talked about. She’s got a good head on her shoulders,” said her mentor.

“She’d come to sessions and say, ‘I’ve been thinking about what you said,’ which showed me that she was dedicated to improving her situation at school.

“She’s always responded well to advice, and I know she feels comfortable talking to me about school. She knows we have her back, and we have advocated on her behalf when needed.

“I’m just so proud that she’s taken onboard and put into action all of the strategies we talk about.”

“She’d come to sessions and say, ‘I’ve been thinking about what you said,’ which showed me that she was dedicated from day one to improving her situation at school.

Layla has developed her confidence, and her ambitious attitude has become clear!

“She knows who she is. She has her own style and even makes her own clothes. She set herself a goal of creating ten items of clothing this year, which is incredible, and she’s taken up acting classes outside of school, something she always wanted to do but just needed the confidence boost to start.”

“When nominated as the school relationships leader, she practised her speech with us and did her best. This took dedication and confidence, and the whole team was so proud,” said Caity.

During her time with Rise, she’s also rebuilt a solid relationship with her father, who has now been released from custody, and our team has been there to support her with this when she needs it.

“You can see she’s much happier,” said her mentor. “She now talks about her dad in every session.”

“Layla has come so far during that time, and I will miss the sessions with her each week!”

We know that great things are ahead for this clever Rise student.

*Names changed to protect participant identity


Thank you to Anglicare Victoria for supporting Rise.  

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Layla’s* school presentation night great way to finish a wonderful year with Rise

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