Courtney's Story | Youth Insearch


Wed, 10/10/2018 - 00:00


Newsletter, Stories

At the age of 4 I was placed into foster care. I joined my big brother where he already was at our grandparent’s house in Gunnedah, NSW. Being with our grandparents was great but as I grew up our relationship strained. At age 12 I really went off the rails. Because of this the relationship with my Nan was strained and I was moved around to quite a few foster homes. 

I was involved with a lot of people who were unhealthy and negative to be around.  I became disrespectful to those who wanted to help me. I was horrible to my teachers, I was even worse at home, I did all I could to make everyone's life as bad as what mine was. I was so caught up in my emotions that I couldn't see all the people offering their hands to me.  When I was 13 I went my first Youth Insearch program. The Courtney you see today is not the Courtney you would have seen then. 

At my first program I was hostile towards everyone, I ignored people, I didn't participate.  There was one thing I did do that weekend. I thought a lot. I thought about why I was rude, why I was nasty and why was I there? I hadn't realised just how much the workshop would connect to me. Not only was I connected to the people, I was also connected to the sessions. I never thought I could cry and laugh so much in less than 48 hours! 

Youth Insearch gave the strength and courage to deal with my challenges and bad behaviours. Neglect and rejection from my family and sexual abuse. I was Self-Harming and getting myself into all sorts of trouble. 

Since that day 3 years ago I have attended many weekend workshops and I can tell there is much more to come. I now have a new outlook in life, I now focus on the positives. I love who I am, I love my life. I am doing well at High School and enjoy going. I am achieving high marks and my Teacher Nominated me for an Aboriginal Youth Award.  My goal is to complete my Senior Education. I live with my Aunty and I have loving relationships and friendships around me with people who respect and care for me. Earlier this year I had my debutante ball, I was so proud of myself. Thankfully, because of my Leadership Training, I knew my etiquette.  

I think the things that I went through as a young child have shaped me to be the happy, determined and strong women I am today. I will forever be thankful to everyone who has assisted me in my journey.

Being a part of Youth Insearch has taught me to accept myself and who I am and accept my past and not let it define me. Through this program I have a new-found respect for not only myself but everyone around me. If I hadn't continued going to this program there is no way I would be where I am today.