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Early school leaver, Jai, shines after returning to study

7 minute read

When Jai started with Asuria Mornington in August 2022, he didn’t know what direction his life was going in. Jai had always been introverted, so talking about his future with Asuria's Youth Mentors was overwhelming.    

"At the start, I was a little bit nervous about going to Asuria. It was a new place with many new faces, and I'm not very good with many people, " explained Jai.    

Asuria's Transition to Work Youth Mentor, Blake, began working with Jai and quickly recognised that Jai's uncertainly came from a place of anxiety and not from being unambitious. 

In their first appointments together, Jai shared that he wasn’t particularly interested in studying. Having not finished high school, it had been a while since Jai had considered revisiting his education. When Blake then moved on to discussing work, Jai struggled to pinpoint his goals, but expressed curiosity in completing a cabinet-making or carpentry apprenticeship.    

As a first step, Blake worked on building a genuine connection with Jai by understanding his story and encouraging him to see beyond his current circumstances. In every appointment, Blake made a point to remind Jai that his opportunities are endless.   

"I started to see a change in Jai when we went more in-depth into the idea that the only person who can benefit from Jai's future is himself," said Blake.    

Gradually, Jai started to believe in himself, and with that, his trust in Blake grew. After once feeling too overwhelmed to open up, Jai now felt ready to put his future in Asuria’s hands.   

"Blake understands that everyone goes through difficult times, and he helped me change my attitudes towards people,” said Jai.   

To kick-start Jai’s journey, Blake felt it would be productive for Jai to value the importance of developing a sense of responsibility and routine. So, Blake proposed studying to help Jai build his organisation and decision-making skills. As expected, Jai was apprehensive and couldn't see the link between studying and his goal of working in a trade. Still, Jai trusted Blake and enrolled in a Certificate III in Customer Engagement. Before long, Blake said that Jai was attending Asuria's Mornington site three days a week, ready to complete his studies.    

"Before I knew it, I had a motivated and eager young adult right before me. Jai truly shone during this opportunity. He would attend all the study groups, engage in conversations with his fellow students, and sometimes helped others who were struggling with the content."   

Jai was surprised by how quickly his attitude towards studying changed and says that completing his Certificate III in Customer Engagement was a considerable achievement.  

"I left school, so it helped me with my reading, writing and spelling a lot. Asuria is a very welcoming place. It was calming being able to walk away from the computer and talk to someone if I needed to. Now that I don't have to go into the office as often to study, I kind of want to go there even if I have nothing to do," said Jai.    

Now that Jai has some further education behind him, Blake is excited to see where Jai's newfound confidence takes him, as they continue working towards developing meaningful life and work skills.    

"Jai's mindset has done a complete 180. I would consider him a very motivated and driven person, and I'm excited to see his ambition grow," said Blake.    

Asuria and the Transition to Work Team in Mornington have been blown away by Jai's maturity and progress over the last eight months. From being indifferent towards studying, to securing a qualification, Jai is now motivated to begin looking for work with Blake by his side.   

If you're between the ages of 15-24 and would like assistance getting the skills, experience, and qualifications needed for a pathway into work or study, click here to check out Asuria's Transition to Work Services.      



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