The journey doesn’t end when the bus drops you home.

In fact, it begins before you step on the bus, and may never end even after you step off the bus.

“Liz” was an example of this occurring this year.

Liz’s journey with Fusion began through our Community Education and Mentoring Program.

Although Liz didn’t have a perfect record of attendance at the program, or really seem to be engaged in the program at first, she still kept in touch with Fusion through her school after the program finished.

She was very excited by the idea of coming on the 2013 Pilgrimage to Uluru. You see Liz has Aboriginal heritage and she was very excited about learning, connecting with and experiencing more of Aboriginal culture and people.

She had never had an opportunity like this before.

In fact she was so excited that she shared with some members of our youth team that she had been unable to sleep in the lead up.

Seeing how excited Liz was about the trip, the teachers saw great opportunities to rebuild relationships with Liz and re-engage her in a positive school experience. The school paid for the trip up front and set her up to be able to cook and sell food at school to teachers, to be able to raise funds for her trip costs.

This was an excellent initiative by the school as it used a skill that Liz enjoyed and was great at. Teachers started to request foods for Liz to make and she would cook and sell the foods to go towards paying for her trip. The school staff were really getting behind Liz and were excited to see her taking this opportunity, a lot of the staff said to her they were jealous that she was able to go on the trip, because it sounded like something they would like to do.

The school decided to buy Liz a camera to take on the trip, so that she would be able to share her experience when she came back to school.

If someone was to ask Liz what the trip was like, she would say “that it is life changing and pretty amazing”. The thing that she found most helpful on the trip was “the story that one of the leaders shared about their life”.

The most important thing that she learned on the trip was “to be yourself and not someone that you’re not”. Things she would like to change and work on are to “help out more, listen to mum and dad and not get suspended a lot”.

Her favourite part about the trip was “getting to meet the Aboriginal people”.

Recently after coming home, she said that she wakes up during the night thinking about the trip, the people she met and the fun times she had.

Think this story is amazing? We do too, which is why we want MORE kids just like “Liz” to take part.

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