Chaplains are desperately needed in our schools for many reasons. Amidst all the programs, breakfast clubs, fundraisers and events, our Chappies are there to look after the social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of young people like Jonan.
Through your selfless and big-hearted support, Jonan’s story today is a very different one. He was very nearly another tragic statistic, but because of your support, the Charters Towers alumni was given a second chance.
“Jo would never have finished school if it wasn’t for Chappy Sharon,” says mum, Sue.
“His dad died when he was ten. Jo was diagnosed with ADD, Tourette’s and Sensory Integration Dysfunction. By the time he got to Grade 10, he’d lost his way. Because of his ADD, Jo would lose his concentration every two minutes, and over Grade 11 and 12 he saw Chappy Sharon on a regular basis. She sat by his side, constantly reminding him to keep on track with his work.”
“Mind you, Jo wasn’t an angel! We begged the school to give him another chance. The school agreed, but with conditions. At first I just sat and cried, fearing that Jo wouldn’t be able to meet the conditions they set.”
Despite the mountain that loomed ahead of him, Jonan began to climb one step at a time and Chappy Sharon never left his side.
“I confided in Chappy Sharon as a friend, and she helped me through. When it felt like I would fail, Chappy was the one who stood by my side and said, ‘Jo, you can do this,’” says Jonan.
“I wanted the experience of finishing school and graduating with my friends, and Chappy Sharon kept me focused. She helped me make a plan, and she rallied other teachers to help.”
“There are heaps of kids like me who are struggling and need extra support to keep on track. They need a chaplain just like I did.”
Chappy Sharon knew Jonan had it in him to succeed – he just needed to know someone believed in him.
“I sat by Jo’s side and provided educational support for eighteen months. He was always on the verge of walking out of class, but when he did he’d come straight to my office. I knew he needed to let it out (with lots of colourful language) and I was there to listen,” says Chappy Sharon.
“Truthfully, it was really tricky working in that space. But watching Jo keep on going and not give up made it worth it.”
“The walk I got to go on with Jo’s mum was also really valuable. Sue was anxious about her son’s future, but my heart was to bring peace to the situation and encourage her too.”
Through your faithfulness, Chappy Sharon was there for Jonan and Sue in a season of uncertainty, and was there to celebrate with the family when Jonan came out the other side victorious.
“In the end, Jo got his QCE. And four months later, he was offered the job of a Drillers Offsider, for which the minimum requirement was his Grade 12 certificate!” says Sue.
“It was a fight to the end, but I’m so grateful Chappy Sharon was there. Facing the possibility of having your child not finish school, and missing out on their full potential is an awful feeling. Chappy Sharon lifted such a burden for me.”
Thank you for supporting chappies across Queensland schools.
Your generosity means that chappies like Sharon, who are inspired by their faith, are there supporting our young people in need. To keep this vital support in our schools visit suqld.org.au/donate