Obstacle: Parental depression & assault
What obstacles in life have you been faced with and why were you nominated for SISTER2sister?

I grew up without a father and a mum who had depression on and off (sometimes mum would be hospitalised). So I grew up without my family. I had to look after my brother when mum was dealing with depression. Money was always a problem growing up. I was bullied at school and also got sexually assaulted there. The school counsellor, the principle and a teacher nominated me for the SISTER2sister program because I had a tough life and they knew the program would help me.

What impact has your Big Sister had on your life? Are you still in contact?

My Big Sister Leisa has been a big influence in my life. She is an amazing, caring person who was always there for me whenever I needed someone. When I felt alone or felt like I had no one that cared, she taught me not to give up. No matter whether she was at work or busy she would make time for me. We stay in touch with each other on Facebook.

Did the SISTER2sister program make an impact on your life? If so what impact did it make?

The SISTER2sister program offered so many unforgettable experiences that I will never forget. These experiences gave me more confidence and built up my self esteem up. The program taught me that not everyone is going to judge you and bully you, and that there is more to life and to never give up. You can achieve anything that you put your mind to, which will give you the boost that you need. It showed me that there are people out there that actually do care about you and that you are never alone. Up until this day, in so many different situations, I stop and think back to the SISTER2sister program and remember what they taught me. I look at life differently now. I will cherish all the memories and will never forget what they have done or the experience I have had.

What have you achieved since graduating from the program?

Since the SISTER2sister program I have achieved so much that I would never have thought I could. I try never to give up, no matter how much you would want to. Even though there were times when I wanted to drop out of high school I didn’t’ and I completed my HSC, the first family member on my mum’s side to finish school. I’m currently a receptionist for a physiotherapy, chiropractor, massage, Podiatry Company. I’m working out what I want to do in the future and thinking about going back to study. I still have so much to achieve and am looking forward to achieving so much more in my future. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t been in the SISTER2sister program.

Why should people support SISTER2sister?

The SISTER2sister program helps girls who are struggling in life. Who have been abused, abandoned, or are just going through a lot in general, but are all having a tough time. The program helps them to realise that there is more to life and that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Most importantly, it will build their confidence and self esteem up. They will learn a lot in such a short time and it will change their lives. It will make them feel wanted and will give them the boost that they need.

Little Sister Renee

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