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Alyssa Hand – Adult Learner Week 2021 Scholarship Winner

Alyssa approached the Hackham West Community Centre in the hopes of doing a work placement there as part of a Certificate III in Community Services. Alyssa’s potential and enthusiasm won her a chance to be involved in the Adult Community Education programs. While planning to observe and support as needed, Alyssa was soon taking initiative and accepting increasing responsibilities. By the second week at the centre, she was mentoring other youth as a leader in a Barista class.

Alyssa has experienced multiple trauma including drug addiction, domestic violence in which she was manipulated to use methamphetamine, workplace bullying, the death of a brother which led to a breakdown and further addiction. Alyssa decided she wanted a different life and with her parents’ support, over several years, has recovered and is passionate about supporting people who have experienced complex trauma to move forward in their own lives.

The changes that Alyssa made required conscious effort and commitment, with her niece and nephew providing motivation to be a role model. Her recovery process included getting help for depression and anxiety, making lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, exercising, meditation and staying sober. Working towards her Certificate III in Community Services during the COVID 19 pandemic came with the challenge of online learning. Alyssa persevered and is also planning to complete a Certificate IV in Youth Work. Despite experiencing challenges, Alyssa is dedicated to achieving her goals and her positive energy helps her to shine. Setbacks strengthen her resolve and she is a wonderful inspiration to other people experiencing their own addiction.

Her impact on other people – Alyssa says ‘It has 100% 180 flipped it’. ‘I like that there is a level playing field. Coming from a toxic industry to a community centre has been refreshing and wonderful’. The positive relationships that Alyssa has made with staff, volunteers and other students are a perfect example of how to succeed in Alyssa’s chosen field of youth work. She feels that the community centre gives her a purpose and that she is making a difference.

Click below to read about other winners, scholarship opportunities and programs supported by ALW:

https://adultlearnersweek.org/scholarship-winners/

Hackham West Community Centre

http://hwcc.net.au/

and Learning Changes Lives, which supports a variety of programs.

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