School chaplains live busy lives. If they’re not running breakfast clubs, resilience and anti-bullying programs, they’re providing spiritual support to children and families in times of grief, loss and crisis – and more.
But at the core of this support, school chaplains are unlocking the potential in our young people so they can thrive socially, emotionally and spiritually. Through your support, young men like Floyd are finding their confidence and experiencing fullness of life…
When Chappy Ben’s principal saw he had carpentry experience on his resume, she asked him to set up a program to help senior boys build confidence while developing their manual arts skills.
“We’ve done things like replacing mirrors, fixing up desks and building shelving for our tuck-shop,” Ben says.
“Two of the boys who’ve been helping from the start I’ve made into ‘foremen’; they both have a crew of 3-4 other boys and try to figure out the best way to get the job done. So it also teaches them a bit of organisation and communication – not just the hand skills.”
One of these two ‘foremen’, Floyd, has been profoundly impacted by being a part of the maintenance crew, which he says has helped him grow in confidence.
“The first time I found out about the crew was when Chappy came and talked to us about it at wood class,” Floyd recalls.
“I joined because I liked working with my hands and I’ve always wanted to do something in construction.
“Working in a group is good, and I’ve learnt a lot about getting people on the same page so we can complete a job. When people fight over certain roles, like who gets to use the drill, nothing gets done, so I make sure everyone gets a chance.”
The maintenance crew helped Floyd develop the confidence to stand as a role model for fellow indigenous students at his school.
“The maintenance crew gave me confidence and played a role in me going for vice-captain,” Floyd says.
“Because I’m indigenous, it’s an opportunity for me to help.
“There’s other indigenous kids in the school who have been mucking up – I want to be an example and show them they can be more than all that.”
School Principal Tania Williams has seen a real change in Floyd since getting involved in the program.
“I’ve seen Floyd grow in confidence – you can see it in his presentation, his smile, his connectedness and certainly how he stepped out of his shell to apply for a student leadership position,” Principal Tania Williams says.
“There’s lots of opportunities for younger students to join programs and grow, but it’s often hard to find those same opportunities for senior students.
“This initiative has allowed those students an opportunity to be a leader, to shine, to have responsibility as a senior student, in a way that isn’t seen as childish – it’s actually seen as being very mature of them.
“It’s giving them the confidence and the knowledge that they can achieve things, which sets them up in the future for when they leave school.”
Thanks to your support, school chaplains like Ben are always finding innovative, practical ways to help children and young people feel supported and connected in community and experience fullness of life.
You can help continue to build into the lives of young people like Floyd. Visit www.suqld.org.au/donate
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