April Bright, 16 years old
When you first attended Empower U:
I first attended Empower U in 2011. When I first attended Empower U I was not the happiest child out there. I was unfit and socially awkward. I got bullied and called names like ‘beast’ and ‘whale’. I was a very negative person; I gave a bad attitude to almost all my teachers, also at home. With three other sisters I had a very poor attitude and it wasn’t good. Then I got roped into doing Empower U.
I have to say I have never done anything like that program before, it was incredible! I loved it so much! To be in such an accepting environment where everyone was happy and positive was thrilling. I was smiling and happy that whole weekend. I learnt so much out of it. Empower U changed my whole perspective towards life.
Your recent Success/What you have done with your life:
My maths results was one of my recent successes. The end of Semester 1 last year I got Maths exam results of 26%. I was not happy with such a low score. Since then, I have put in a lot of hard work and put what I learnt at Empower U into place. My school life has improved so much. I love going to school now that I can see it in such a positive way. My last results for my first Maths SAC this year was 100%. This motivates me to work hard and to get the exam result I want for this year.
Best memory from Empower U:
My best memory of Empower U was making my first friend from the program there. My new friend’s name was Emily, by the end of the two days she was like family. I still remember bawling my eyes out at the end of the program because I had to say goodbye. Making friends so easily that were happy and seeing them all grow in that program changed my whole thought process. There are so many great people that you meet while attending Empower U. You make so many strong and hopefully life-long friendships. All the people in the program are so accepting of one another. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have been through, you will always make a friend at Empower U.
Which lesson have you implemented the most?
The biggest lesson I got out of Empower U was attitude. Your attitude is everything; if you have a brilliant attitude you will have a brilliant day. It is as simple as that. Empower U taught me the best ways to have and maintain a positive attitude.
How did the program impact your life?
The program impacted my life dramatically. It opened my eyes to so many things I didn’t know or consider before. It made me feel like I could do anything. It made me realise that people aren’t that different from each other, everyone just wants to be accepted. After the program I made so many new friends. I wasn’t afraid to go up and talk to people. I tested out the stuff I learnt during the program. I wasn’t scared of rejection anymore. It motivated me to improve myself and fitness. Since the Empower U program I have improved my fitness and lost 20kg. I put into place what I learnt and am continually striving to improve myself daily.
What would you say to someone thinking of attending?
Just do it. I honestly can say that you will learn more life skills in this one weekend than you do in two years’ worth of schooling. It is definitely worth it and you will never know until you try. Out of all the things I’ve ever done I say this program to be the best thing I’ve ever done and I recommend it strongly.
What advice would you give other young people trying to better themselves?
The best thing I can say to people trying to better themselves is focus on the positives. If you keep on concentrating on little stuff ups then you will only increase those stuff ups. Focus on what you did right that day. It doesn’t even need to be something big, it can be something like actually waking up to go to school when you don’t want to. Take a moment to be proud of your efforts and recognise yourself as a success. You’ll eventually notice there is an increase in the successes.
What has been you’re biggest lesson in life so far:
My biggest lesson in life so far is to don’t be afraid. This can apply to everything you do. Exercise that courage and you will grow. Every moment is precious. This is for everything; whether it is starting a conversation with a stranger, trying something new or probably the most important is admitting that you’re wrong. Step out of your comfort zone, incredible things happen then.