Caitlyn was just 14 years old when she realised that the traditional school setting wasn’t meeting her needs as a young person.
Although Caitlyn was academically gifted, due to a troubled home life she became overwhelmed and lost interest in school. With an all-consuming personal life, Caitlyn found it hard to focus in class and her behaviour and school attendance started slipping.
As a result, Caitlyn was expelled from school.
Caitlyn was totally disengaged and defeated. She felt like there was nowhere to turn and her future was looking bleak.
It was during this low time that Caitlyn heard about YMCA Brisbane’s Vocational School program.
The YMCA School provides personalised support and mentoring to disengaged young people and offers second, third and fourth chances for youths to become empowered, believe in themselves and reach their potential.
Caitlyn applied for a hairdressing traineeship through YMCA Brisbane’s Kingston campus in Logan. The specialised approach to training and smaller classes allowed Caitlyn to flourish and to develop a passion for hairdressing.
At YMCA Brisbane, Caitlin felt safe, nurtured and empowered. Caitlyn finally felt ‘seen’.
The YMCA’s mentors worked side-by-side with Caitlyn to develop a plan that she could work towards to achieve her goals while capturing her full potential.
Through her time with YMCA Brisbane, Caitlyn regained a strong sense of empowerment, value, wellbeing and resilience and began to feel like she finally had something to strive towards.
Caitlyn went from strength to strength. She excelled in class and completed a Salon Assistant Certificate II. She was also awarded the Student of the Year.
After being placed in work experience, Caitlyn’s abilities and attitude to work were quickly noticed and she was offered a full-time apprenticeship with one of Brisbane’s top salons, Ella and Jade.
Caitlyn is thankful to the team at YMCA Brisbane for giving her a second chance and supporting her to realise her potential.
“My mentors believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. YMCA is safe, inspiring and empowering. It’s a place where you can come and focus on yourself and build yourself up.”
As a registered charity, YMCA Brisbane relies on the generosity of donors to enable it to deliver Social Impact programs to thousands of disadvantaged young people and families each week.