Its our final week on the program and I think we can all agree that this term has flown by! This week is a reflection and celebratory week as we are completing our community project and are having our graduation.
Wednesday started how they always do by picking up the young people from Collingwood station. We rounded everyone up for the last time and drove straight to Collingwood alternative school to start our reflection. This reflection time is always an enjoyable activity as we get to recap and debrief the entire term. With all credit given to the young people they were right on task and really got into these activities. The thing we reflect on are our most challenging moment, our funniest moment, our favourite activity, our biggest achievement and what character strength we feel we have developed most. It was great to see a variety of connections and reflections being made with everyone getting something different out of the term. After this we had lunch and drove to darling gardens to complete our community project and donate the bikes! It was awesome to see each young person take on the leadership role to organise and donate these bikes. With 8 students from CELS listening and learning how to ride from the Newstart crew everyone got a lot out of it. We donated the bikes to the grateful and exciting students and then called it a day.
Thursday was our final day on the program and the most exciting one as it was our graduation day! We all met at Yarra Youth Services excited and nervous to be ending the program. Each young person came with their speech in hand ready to share with everyone what they have achieved over the last 9 weeks. With family members, school representatives, service providers and community members watching on each young person nailed their speech. Brendon and I are extremely proud of their efforts today and over the term. They all recapped the term well as everyone enjoyed what they had to say. After enjoy the speeches, watching the movie and viewing the photos we all indulged in some food and said our goodbyes. From us here at Operation Newstart we would like to thank all the community members involved in this term. Without the support of the parents, schools, service providers and city of Yarra we wouldn't be able to do what we do. A special congratulations and thank you goes out to all the young people involved in this term. Each and every one of you have achieved so much during this term and you should all be extremely proud of what you have achieved. It was a enjoyable term overall and I know we will all look back on it with joy.