A young person’s years at school are meant to be among the best times of their life. Sadly, for many young people, this is not the case. Instead, it can be a time of pain and rejection, which can often cause problems well into adult life.

This could have been the story for high school graduate, Michelle.

Before transferring to her new school, Michelle had left her previous school, vowing never to return after she’d endured relentless bullying that escalated to alarming levels. Michelle was robbed of self-esteem and struggled to see any hope for her future.

“[The bullying] affected me a lot. It made me feel like I wasn’t good enough and it had a huge impact on my life. It still affects me to this day.”

Michelle joined one of the school’s programs for at-risk students at her new school, which was supported by the school chaplains. It was here that she began to regain the self-worth that was stolen from her, and was able to pursue a future she had thought was unattainable.

“I had no idea that I would be capable of doing a certificate or diploma. Now I know that I can finish my current certificates and be a personal trainer. Having a chaplain to speak to got me through my time here. Every time I’m going through something, I know my chaplain is there to help and that I’m not alone.”

Michelle’s journey from victim to victor is the result of a combination of her own courage and her school chaplain’s support.

*Student name has been changed for privacy.