Lana is one of our newest students at NG Central. Even though it’s her second term with us, she is already settling into Year 9 with a positive attitude and plenty of enthusiasm.
But Lana didn’t always feel this optimistic about her education. She had a disjointed and challenging experience at her mainstream high school, finding herself the target of bullying. This social isolation was exacerbated by the sheer size of her cohort and Lana struggled with feeling anonymous amongst so many people.
“I wasn’t coping properly at that huge school, it felt so overwhelming. The bullying made me feel terrible and like I had no support, so my attendance was really low. But coming to NGC, my whole perspective on school has changed. I haven’t missed a day since I started. Everyone is so supportive and I felt safe and welcome straight away. Everyone made an effort to get to know me.”
This sense of community has made a world of difference to Lana’s approach to learning. She has taken advantage of the small class sizes and the intensive, one-on-one support available from the teachers. As a result, her Maths performance has improved already and she’s loving PDHPE and History.
“If you get stuck, the teachers are able to sit with you, narrow it down and help you understand. That way, everything seems more achievable rather than overwhelming. You’re able to take time out to clear your head, so you can concentrate better. I find it much easier to get through my work when I’m able to talk it through first.”
One of Lana’s favourite parts of NGC so far is her weekly Retail classes. Not only does she get a taster of retail skills like cash handling and customer service, but she also gets to experiment in our onsite hair and beauty salon.
Lana has ambitions to be a beautician when she leaves school, so she’s been relishing the chance to try things out in a simulated work environment.
So far, she’s mastered washing, braiding, straightening, blow-drying and curling. Plus, she was one of our main salon attendants in our recent World’s Greatest Shave fundraiser.
“I love being in the salon. It’s a heaps good opportunity for me to learn without worrying about making a mistake. I’ve been able to learn to use the basin and see how it all works."
We can’t wait to see how Lana continues to grow through her time at NG Central. She is already contributing positively to our weekly girls group and participating in activities like boxing at the PCYC, volunteering time with Inner Wheel Central Coast and meeting local community members. We’re expecting big things from Lana!
“I feel confident knowing that I can talk to anyone here. You just feel like you belong and there’s no threat, drama or bullying. I’ve been to four schools so far and no one has supported me as much as they do here."