Looking back at about seven months ago, it is more than clear that receiving a Pinnacle Scholarship has turned my life around. Seven months ago I had absolutely no idea I would end up studying Youth Work and Alcohol & Other Drugs at RMIT University, and have an amazing mentor. At that time I was experiencing accommodation instability and started to not believe in myself. I began thinking about giving up on my hopes and dreams and re-prioritising my goals.
Receiving a Pinnacle Scholarship means more to me than the financial assistance with course fees and materials. Don’t get me wrong, it has saved me from great financial stress and provided me with relief; however it is the fact that someone saw something in me and believed in me that made me feel that there is hope. So I decided then I was not going to give up that easy.
Now I’m doing well in my courses and have an awesome placement working with a very diverse and creative group of same-sex attracted young people. I love this placement so much it does not feel like work at all. My partner sometimes gets a bit annoyed that I do not spend a lot of time at home due to classes and placement commitments, but she knows that in the end it would be all worth it and she sees that I am happy.
My mentor Lauren is an incredible lady. I honestly could not have asked for a better mentor. She simply ROCKS! Lauren has done so much for me in the past few months. Not only does she assist me with my assignments and finding placement opportunities, she also took me to my first professional development conference about mental health and social media. This challenged me a little because I have never been around so many professionals before. I’m glad she did take me because shortly after that my placement supervisor out of the blue asked me to attend the Hume City Council’s launch of their Youth Counselling Service on his behalf. I was more confident with meeting other professionals and networking with them.
Lauren has also helped me solve my first ethical dilemmas as a Youth Worker such as: boundaries and being torn between being a friend and a worker. I’m extremely lucky to have Lauren as my mentor. She is kind, hilarious and great to talk. I hope to stay in touch with her after the mentorship. I could go on for ages about the awesomeness of Lauren but I guess you get the idea that she is my idol, so I will stop here.
Being a Pinnacle Scholar is a great honour and privilege. It changed the way I perceived my life. When I officially start working in the community services sector I would not hesitate in recommending the Pinnacle Foundation to my future clients to help them achieve their full potential and get them where they would like to go in life.
By Laura Partington