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Moving on up: Exciting new beginnings for Clarence Valley Rise kids

It’s been a fantastic year for the Rise Clarence Valley crew, with children from six schools across the region participating in the program.

Anna’s Story

While Courtney says all the children have done so well this year, Anna* in year six has been a particularly happy story.

Anna and her younger brother Cameron, in year 5, were referred to Rise in Term 2 by their school principal.

They had moved to the Northern Rivers region over the Christmas break with their grandmother, Maeve*, who had recently become their kinship carer when both their mum and dad were incarcerated.

Maeve had moved the children away from Sydney to somewhere more peaceful and where she would have more community support.

Cameron had experienced behavioural issues at school, and Anna had anxiety, so Maeve believed a new environment would help them make a clean start after a turbulent time in their lives. Their principal could see that they needed help settling into a new school.

When Courtney first started sessions with her, Anna would often become overwhelmed by her ‘big worries’.

Courtney and Anna worked throughout the year on activities to build her confidence and self-esteem and develop strategies to manage anxiety, including understanding things that can and can’t be controlled.

The change in Anna’s attitude towards herself and others in the time since has been delightful to witness says Courtney, “Anna has come such a long way!”.

Anna’s dedication to managing her anxiety has been shown in her growing confidence, socially and academically. She loves to learn and has made significant progress. She’ll be starting high school next year in the selective program!

“With support from the school, we have secured her a position in the ‘self-select’ class, a selective program run by her local high school”, says Courtney, “She is so excited to have the opportunity to meet like-minded students.”

Courtney is confident that Anna will continue on the positive path she’s set out on and thrive in the coming year!

Happy Endings …

Capping off a great year, two of Courtney’s first-ever Rise students have finished with the program this year.

Both students came to the program after their mothers, who were in custody at Clarence Correctional Centre, doing our Storytime program.

“I am so happy to say that after talking with their parents and teachers, it was decided they no longer need the program.

They are both thriving at school and home! Both mothers have returned home and reintegrated into the household; they have jobs and are doing well as a family again.”

… And Exciting New Beginnings

A highlight for mentor Courtney has been supporting her older children with the transition to high school.

It’s a significant change in their lives, and having Courtney by their side on transition days, helping with forms and advocating for their needs for the year ahead has made it that much easier.

All three children are nervous but excited to be set up to hit the ground running for this next chapter in their lives!

*Names and images changed to protect participants’ identities. 

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Thank you to the Raymond E Purves Foundation for supporting Rise in the Clarence Valley.

Moving on up: Exciting new beginnings for Clarence Valley Rise kids

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