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A knockout transformation: Jamel's path to self-confidence

6 minute read


As a young man who hadn't completed Year 12, Jamel faced numerous challenges, including shyness, anxiety, and a lack of confidence. He was also overwhelmed by the expectations of those around him, leaving him feeling lost and directionless.  

Fortunately, Jamel's path crossed with Asuria after being referred by Centrelink. Upon his initial appointment at Asuria’s Merrylands office, Jamel was paired with Youth Mentor Monique. Sensing his silence and disengagement, Monique decided to have a one-on-one conversation with Jamel, which was when Jamel finally felt safe to open up about his struggles and aspirations.  

 With a genuine interest in martial arts, Jamel expressed his desire to pursue boxing professionally. Although he had dabbled in boxing before, he had lost motivation along the way. Monique understood the significance of finding something that resonated with Jamel, and she discussed with Youth Mentors Taani, Elizabeth, and Activity Coordinator Mary-Lee the way forward. They agreed that they would need to first focus on rebuilding Jamel’s confidence and keeping him occupied.

Monique reached out to local gym operators in the area, and Straight Blast Gym International in Guildford welcomed Jamel, allowing him to immerse himself in his passion.

In parallel, the Asuria team referred Jamel to the GLOVES Boxing Program,  an initiative combining physical fitness and vocational Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This program, which aimed to empower participants and foster job outcomes, used box-fit exercises to release dopamine, reduce stress, and build teamwork and communication skills. Throughout the program, Jamel's confidence blossomed, and he actively engaged with others, forging new friendships and sharing his own experiences of overcoming challenges and managing his mental health. 

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Jamel's commitment and growth during the GLOVES program was nothing short of remarkable. From his first session to the program's conclusion, his Asuria Mentors observed his newfound confidence and ability to connect with others. Monique, particularly impressed by Jamel's dedication and participation, acknowledged his transformation, emphasising his consistent attendance and how he immersed himself in the program without making excuses.

“Jamel did his very best to participate and engage in every session. He used to be a young participant who struggled to be around people, but he showed up for this program with no excuses,” said Asuria Mentor Monique.

Jamel proudly completed the GLOVES program, receiving a certificate of completion and his own pair of gloves and mittens as symbols of his accomplishment. Witnessing his growing confidence, the Asuria team also recognised the potential for Jamel in the construction field based on his prior experience working with his father. Consequently, the Asuria team helped Jamel get a white card, should he decide to explore this avenue in the future.

During subsequent appointments, Jamel revealed his aspirations to establish his own business someday. Recognising his drive and determination, the Asuria team at Merrylands enrolled Jamel in Certificate III in Business in November 2022 alongside ten other participants. Despite his previous struggles with completing tasks, Jamel remained focused and committed to the course, ultimately finishing among the top three who completed it in January 2023.  

Jamel undertook this entire journey independently, carefully managing the external pressure and expectations. This decision reflected his newfound determination and belief in his ability to see things through.

“My experience at Asuria has been really good. I am grateful for my Mentors who have been able to just believe in me and upskill my hobbies which I did not realise could be turned into a career. They listened to me and gave me opportunities to create a career goal,” says Jamel. 

With his certificate in hand, the Asuria team at Merrylands now supports Jamel in pursuing pre-employment programs with Tailored Workforce, including resume preparation and other employment-related assistance. Though Jamel is still finding his footing, the team at Asuria is optimistic about Jamel's future, recognising the remarkable 180-degree turn he has made in his confidence levels. 

“What a success for Jamel. We are so proud of him and know he will go a long way in his future,” says Asuria Mentor Joyce.

Asuria stands proud of Jamel's accomplishments and remains committed to guiding him as he continues his journey towards a bright and promising future.

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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