21 October 2014

Stuart shares how his hope has been restored

Posted in Chaplaincy

Like thousands of students, Stuart’s life has changed because of his chaplain’s support. On the 13th October, he told his story to 1,100 guests at our annual Frontline Chaplaincy Appeal Dinner, where $670,000 was given in support of school chaplaincy…

“I’m 14, I used to go to Bray Park primary and I’m now in Year 9 at Pine Rivers State High.

“I first met Chappy Kirsty at the end of Year 6, when she came up to me and took me out during class. She heard that my father was sick and that I was going through a bit of a tough time. I was really close with dad and I was feeling angry and had to blame someone for it and I was feeling sad all the time.

“A few weeks after I started seeing Chappy, my father unexpectedly passed away. I was angry all the time and I thought ‘why me?’. My behaviour got much worse after my father passed away. I didn’t really care about anything anymore and just wanted to give up. I didn’t want to really come to school.

“Instead of trying at school, I would try to annoy the teacher and get into fights with other kids because I always felt kind of angry inside. I didn’t care about my grades so I didn’t pay attention in class. I was always in detention and I always had to do my work in my lunch breaks.

“But having Chappy there was a benefit and pushed me to come to school [because] I had someone to talk to and cry and stuff. I could ball my eyes out and talk about how I felt. As a guy, I can’t really just go up to a mate and just start balling up in tears.

“I met up with my chaplain every week or just when I needed someone to speak to about my problems. It helped me a lot – I could keep my emotions under control when I was just with my mates, but I couldn’t hold it in when I went to talk to my chaplain. Having someone to talk to, kept me from letting my anger out in class and in the playground.

“I only noticed in the last five weeks of Year 7 that I was really behind in my school work and that’s when I started to care and try because I didn’t want to disappoint my teacher, my family, Chappy and myself. Because I didn’t realise this until the end of Year 7, I was stuffed when I went into Year 8. I had to work twice as hard.

“My behaviour at high school now is pretty good and I haven’t been suspended and haven’t gotten into a fight or anything. I’ve been the class captain for the past two years and I would like to be the sports house captain when I’m in Year 12. I rarely fail my subjects now and I do care and try my hardest with my school work.

“I still catch up with Chappy Kirsty in my own time. I go to youth every second Friday and see her there. I also go back to Bray Park and help my chaplain when she does Chappy Snow Cones at the school dance because it feels like I kind of need to give back to the school and my chaplain after all she has done for me. Plus, I love free snow cones.

“I am so grateful for Chappy Kirsty. She helped me become the man that I am today. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know where I would be.”

Stuart is just one of the many youth impacted through your support. Thank you for your continued dedication, generosity and sacrifice – every student is worth it!


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