For a lot of students, starting high school can feel like you’re a little fish swimming in a big pond. Stinson Whittler found himself in the same boat when he first arrived at Ferny Grove State High School.
Stinson began his high school years struggling with low self esteem and debilitating social anxiety.
Thanks to your support Chappy Sam was by his side to help him along the journey.
“When I started at my new school I was really socially awkward and didn’t want to talk to anyone,” Stinson recalls.
“Sam supported me through everything. When I struggled with anxiety he was there. When a close friend and a family member both passed away not so long apart, Sam was there to give me coping strategies and the encouragement I needed.
“After a while I didn’t see Sam as just the school chaplain anymore, I saw him as a friend.”
Chappy Sam says it was a privilege to watch Stinson grow from a shy boy into a confident young man, even through a myriad of hardships.
“Stinson was a part of the first cohort I’ve been fortunate enough to follow all the way through their high school journey, and that has been a real joy,” Sam says.
“Getting to see people grow and learn more about who they are is part of what I love about being a chaplain. For me, the job is all about meeting people where they’re at, and journeying with them to help with whatever they’re going through.”
The significant work of school chaplains like Sam would not be possible without your support.
For Stinson, he’s grateful for his chaplain, and for friends like you who are keeping chappies in Queensland schools.
“On the outside, everyone seems alright, but having someone to talk to brings out the inside stuff that’s harder to see,” Stinson says.
“From my experience, every school needs a chaplain.”
It’s thanks to your generosity that chaplains like Sam are able to provide this invaluable support to students like Stinson.
Keep this vital support going for our children and young people, visit suqld.org.au/donate.