Ruth is a bright 15-year-old who resides in the community of Te Puke with her whānau. Ruth carries a maturity and a solidified sense of integrity. She values her family immensely and is always striving to be more connected to them. Ruth had a very reserved and hidden nature about her. She felt like she couldn't let anyone know who she truly was and about her past and the hardships she continually faces. Ruth had significant mental health disorders and intellectual disability which caused a lack of belief in herself and her capabilities. Ruth often couldn’t see the purpose and meaning in her life and wasn’t interested in creating and sustaining goals. Ruth’s biggest challenge has been disengaging from society, including mainstream education and isolating herself from communities. Overall, Ruth lacked motivation, direction and didn’t have a developed understanding of what she valued. Family trauma has also been a strong theme in Ruth's life which has limited her access to opportunities.
Ruth’s desire was to grow in self-worth and increase her self-esteem as well as transition out of alternative education into full-time mainstream education. She wanted to discover how to be an efficient and resourceful leader in her family and communities. Ruth was seeking to improve her mental health and participate in new opportunities such as learning to ride a dirt bike, which she embraced at Youth Encounter through engaging in group therapy that used dirt bikes as a tool to deliver a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy model and 1 on 1 Clinical Counselling sessions. Connecting with the team at Youth Encounter started Ruth on her journey of healing and discovery the value you brings to the world around her.
She the transitioned into Youth Encounter's matched mentoring with Pare and then Gemma, who spent quality time with her discovering her values and goals through activity-based sessions. The team who have journeyed Ruth have seen her increase in adaptability, generosity and compassion. At times it has been challenging because Ruth carries a lot from her complex background, but she has shown leadership and integrity. At times Ruth has tended to shut down and isolate herself from rich learning and participation but her workers have always been encouraging and working with her and not against.
"What I enjoy the most about Youth Encounter is the support and help in your life." - Ruth
Ruth has been supported in a way that she was comfortable with and boosted her confidence. She learnt about how she can discover and unleash her own potential to overcome her problems. She was able to accomplish this through the power of values-based learning and felt confident to express herself in a fun and safe environment. She was able to transition from identifying as a victim to being the author of her own story and recognizing the authority she carries. The programmes Ruth engaged in supported her in developing a better understanding of her values, developing life skills and knowledge, increasing motivation of goals and aspirations and directing her towards healthier communities.
Engaging in multiple programmes at Youth Encounter, we believe has been a key to Ruth's success as we continue to support her into her future. As a result of Ruth being in a supportive community, Ruth has evaluated what kind of community she wants to be a part of in her future. Her experiences have led her to strive for a values-based lifestyle. She has had multiple traumatic events this year alone and she has responded with resilience and strength. She has not let them get her down or create further barriers in her life but she has embraced the healing process by first accepting that some things are out of her control. Ruth has stuck to her commitment of transferring out of alternative education and back into mainstream education. She is now participating full-time in education. Ruth is heading in a very positive direction and is on a journey of discovering her purpose in life. She has discovered her potential and explored the endless possibilities her life has to offer. She has found contentment and support in community and is moving away from her habits of isolation.
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