Dylan started with Youth Encounter February 2017 at 13 years old and was disengaged with the education system. He initially was referred through the Te Puke Alternative Education to our Dirt Bike Encounter therapy programme and completed our Arotika ki te Kaupapa (Getting on Track) course. Dylan then went on to receive one on one mentoring sessions and has attended three of our teen camps and our parent child camp with his mum. He is still actively involved with Youth Encounter, continuing on the Encounter Pathway, not only with mentoring and camps, but also gaining work experience and volunteering back into the organization, helping with things like water blasting and maintenance work on the bikes. Dylan has been working hard and has now purchased his own motorcycle that he is learning to maintain. He is also working towards a two week mission trip to Fiji in July 2019 with a local youth group and continuing his education through Te Kura correspondence school. We are privileged to be journeying with this young man.
This is what he has to say:-
“When I joined Youth Encounter I did not feel good about myself. I felt like no one loved or cared for me. I wasn’t happy and felt like I was being judged all the time. I did not like school or learning anything and did not feel encouraged to try.
After joining the Youth Encounter Pathway I met some really cool and interesting people and I get on with everyone. I felt encouraged to try and get out there and do things and felt better about myself. I even started doing correspondence school and find this easier and I actually want to do it and learn things. They also gave me the opportunity for some work experience working in a Kiwi Fruit orchard and the mentors are really good, they are encouraging and heaps of fun.”
And this is why we do what we do, making a real difference in the lives of our youth. To congratulate Dylan on his staying on track success, we presented him with his very own helmet!