Every person has a right to education

Before enrolling at Carinity Education Southside, Ebony hadn’t attended school for months.

She dropped out of primary school and after being thrown out of home, moved from town to town.

“Most young people have someone telling them ‘no’, but I didn’t. Some of the places I stayed at had really, really bad things happen there,” Ebony says.

Without an education and lacking stability in her life, Ebony enrolled at Carinity Education Southside in Brisbane when she was 15.

“At that point in my life I had a number of issues holding me back from enjoying life, having a poor self-image and living an unstable lifestyle,” Ebony says.

“I was always in trouble at school but from my first day at Southside it was completely different.

“A lot of the time at normal schools you feel judged or are made to feel out of place. At Southside they help you to fix whatever problems you have.

“I had never really put much thought into who I am or who I want to be. It wasn’t until I sat and listened to my teacher Aunty Nicole’s touching words, along with the amazing support and kindness from all Southside staff members, that I really started to take a good look at myself.

“It didn’t take much time to realise I wanted to improve my life.”

Now 19, Ebony finishes high school this week. She aims to study early education with hopes of being a primary school teacher.

“The women at Southside continuously and whole-heartedly remind each and every girl in the school that they not only can, but will, change their lives for the better,” Ebony says.

“I am still constantly thinking up ways to better my life and myself.”

Each year, Carinity helps thousands of young Queenslanders like Ebony who are in need or who are facing disadvantage, by delivering mental, physical, emotional and financial support.

Our mission is to provide high-quality care and services to make a real difference to struggling teenagers.

These services include providing crisis accommodation and emergency housing for homeless youth, assisting young people with a disability, special assistance education for those who struggle in mainstream schooling, and counselling services for at-risk teenagers living with mental illness.

You can help support the expansion of Carinity’s youth services by donating to the 2018 Carinity Christmas Appeal.

Donations can be made online at carinity.org.au/donations or by phoning (07) 3550 3737.

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