Cameron's Story: Overcoming the Villian

Cameron’s journey with Youth Encounter has been a testament to his resilience and growth. Struggling with confidence due to Tourette Syndrome, he found himself concealing his tics, often hiding his face to mask the involuntary movements. Through the dedicated guidance of his Youth Encounter mentor, Cameron discovered a newfound sense of self-acceptance. Understanding that he doesn't need to feel embarrassed about aspects beyond his control became a pivotal moment in his transformation.

Participating in the Specialized Connect program allowed Cameron to delve further into dirt bike riding, a skill that not only expanded his abilities but also became a source of empowerment. His journey has been marked by a remarkable increase in his sense of self-worth (Mana). He now confidently engages with others, making eye contact without hiding his face, a significant stride in his journey towards self-assurance.

"The confidence that Cameron brings to each session is a testament to the willingness he has had to grow and understand more about himself. We were able to give him the tools but he had to push himself to use them. Awesome job Cam!" - Justin (mentor)

In a recent breakthrough, Cameron exhibited immense courage by participating in his school speeches. Not only did he bravely enter, but he excelled, earning a spot in the finals. In an inspiring gesture, he invited members of the Youth Encounter team to witness his incredible speech on the topic of motorcycles. His delivery captivated a large audience comprising teachers, fellow students, and family (whanau), marking a significant milestone in his journey.

Cameron's confidence and ability to address a substantial audience signify a monumental stride in his personal growth. This achievement not only reflects his progress within the Youth Encounter program but also demonstrates the profound impact of the support and guidance he has received. It showcases his newfound self-assurance and determination to conquer challenges, ultimately shaping him into a more confident and empowered individual.

"This has really stoked his passion for motorcross and the hands on learning around motors and caring for his bike has really engaged him. His ability to persist and try new things out of his comfort zone has definitely developed too."  - Emma (mum)

Moreover, his time with Youth Encounter has kindled aspirations for the future. Cameron has set his sights on a career in the forestry industry, nurturing dreams and ambitions that were once overshadowed by self-doubt. His potential, once hindered, has now been unleashed, propelling him to embrace life with an open and optimistic perspective. Cameron's story is a testament to the transformative power of support and guidance, demonstrating the profound impact of the Youth Encounter program on his life.

For confidentiality purposes, real names or identifiable photos are only used with permission. 


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