Troubled youths make the ultimate life change
SAM Fulloon was once an unmotivated teen who thought nothing of an education and had no set goals in life.
That is, until he was introduced to Transition 2 Success, an alternative education and occupational training program for young people in the youth justice system.
Now, Sam, 16, has a new vision in life with a goal to gain employment and become the best version of himself.
"It was an incredible experience to be a part of," he said.
"I'm proud of how far I've come."
The Hervey Bay local of six years joined 17 other T2S graduates at a ceremony at the Cultural Centre yesterday to celebrate their achievements.
Sam participated in the program after one of his teachers from Hervey Bay High School decided to refer him.
"My attendance rate was very very low at school," he said.
"I didn't enjoy teachers and stuff like that and sitting in classrooms."
Months later, Sam said the course changed his life having now completed his second course with T2S and admitted it was the best thing he'd ever done.
"This course has given me more opportunities in life and the chance to get more certificates," he said.
"I got accepted to go into this T2S leadership program last month too."
Minister for Youth Di Farmer was there to congratulate the young graduates.
"It's really wonderful to celebrate with these 18 young people who are now facing incredibly bright futures with work prospects thanks to the help they received from Transition 2 Success and their own determination to get a qualification," she said.
"We know many of the young people referred to T2S have experienced social disadvantage through exposure to domestic violence, drug abuse and unstable parenting but sadly they are also exposed to intergenerational unemployment.
"This program helps to break that cycle."
Nine participants completed a Certificate II in Rural Operations, 12 completed Certificate II in Resources and Infrastructure and three achieved both certificates and one of those three was Sam.
The graduates also received accreditation in responsible service of alcohol, responsible service of gambling, senior first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Seven also earned their learner licence and received support to attend driving lessons.
Transitions officer Tracey Bell said she worked with many of the youths who entered the program.
"They have the opportunity to form relationships and nurture their strengths," she said.
"It's about the social and emotional well-being and getting them back on track."