Getting help with growing up

It’s been a tough few years for Kris. In 2017, escaping a difficult home life at 17 left him couch surfing and short on basic life skills. He was juggling the need for work, accommodation and food, which made staying at school impossible. Last year, he enrolled in a VCE course at Dandenong TAFE, but the instability of his daily life made it too difficult to keep up attendance, and he dropped out. Work was also hard to maintain. “When your living conditions are unstable, trying to get a job is very stressful,” says Kris. “You’re worrying about how to eat, and getting a job would fix that, but it’s a cycle.”

Above: Kris is excited to finish Year 12 VCAL and attend university next year.

Three months ago, Kris got in touch with the Brotherhood through a friend. He’s now working with our Transition to Work team to iron out bits of life admin — such as getting a copy of his birth certificate and gaining driving hours towards his P licence. Even in this short time, Kris’s outlook has changed a lot and he’s feeling much more positive. The support he’s receiving means he’s able to fill in some gaps that will help him gain more independence. “I’m getting on top of my issues,” he says. He’s catching up on “All the stuff you need to be shown when you’re growing up”.

Recently, he has grabbed the opportunity to finish school through our David Scott School Year 12 VCAL program. He’s so motivated that he’s on track to finish the year-long qualification in only six months. When he enrolled this time, he thought, “If I go back, I’m going to finish it.”

Getting his Year 12 pass will mean Kris is able to meet his ambitions for the future. Next year, he plans to study sound engineering and audio production at university. “Now I’m in a stable situation, I’m able to think about my long-term goals,” he says. He has also recently been given a place in funded accommodation, which provides added stability.

Without the youth programs at our Frankston High Street Centre, Kris says he’d still be able to make it, but it’d be a lot more of a struggle. His future is looking bright.

Our youth programs support the most vulnerable in the community who might otherwise fall through the cracks. By supporting the Brotherhood, you can enable young people to get on track to the world of work.