Dahlia lives with a friend whose parents were kind enough to welcome her into their family. It’s a small house, but they make it work and, since the breakdown of her own family, Dahlia is happy to call this home.
“A counsellor at school knew I needed someone to support me as I worked out things like how to receive the youth payment and work out what to do and how to live. She suggested I come to Visionwest and meet a Youth Coach from Youth Services.”
Dahlia admits that she didn’t know what to expect from a Youth Coach. Partly because she’d never had any real help from parents, family or any other person and wasn’t sure what being supported meant.
“Having someone looking out for me was something totally new. No one had done that before and so I didn’t know what to expect. What I was hoping for was someone who would listen to what I had to say and give reassurance when I needed it most … someone to talk to when things were tough or going wrong.
“Beth and Kendra, my Youth Coaches, are amazing. They genuinely care about me. They contact me if they haven’t heard from me for a while and give me really good advice about all sorts of things to do with my life.”
Dahlia says she has up days and down days. The awesome thing for her is that, when she faces a down time, she now has someone to walk with her through it.
“Life before wasn’t that great. It’s like I’ve been on a two-part journey. The first part was pretty hard but now I have someone walking alongside me. I’m able to focus on my schoolwork and create plans for the future.”
Dahlia’s aim after finishing school is to complete a Bachelor of Communications at AUT. Her hope is to be involved in the film industry and be a scriptwriter. A short while ago, that was just a dream. Now, with the support of her Visionwest Youth Coaches, she believes it will happen.