In Her Own Words: Zoe

The following story is unedited, having been written by Zoe to share her transformation story at the 2017 SHINE graduation.

 Zoe Shares Her SHINE Transformation

For those that have not crossed my path as yet, my name is Zoe.  Well known for disturbing the peace, disrupting the surroundings and slipping the occasional swear word at the completely wrong time.

I am positive there are teachers out there in our audience that never thought I would be standing here today.

Well here I am. My attendance has improved and believe it or not so has my behavior.

I have thought about this speech long and hard. I could tell you that my dad is dying of cancer or my mum struggles with drugs or how I have self-harmed but I actually want to tell you about how I have moved forward. What changes I have made and how much happier I am.

I now know how to meditate to help control my anger.

I now own my crap and say sorry when I am wrong

I tell the truth, there’s no more lies

I now know what my triggers are and who to talk too

I no longer starve myself because I now like myself

I now believe my blue eyes are really pretty

I completely understand that teachers are actually human and most of them are doing their best.

I can’t share them all because there are way too many positive changes. Thanks Mr Tapper and Mr Trefone for not giving up on me.

And most of all thank you to my SHINE sisters. Thanks for being honest with me, helping make better choices and see that life isn’t so bad if you surround yourself with good people.

I am only one of many other girls that owe big time to SHINE.

We are grateful.

And we are thankful that you understand our madness we live in every single day.

The following article appeared in the Midwest’s Guardian Newspaper (12 December 2017) when Zoe was interviewed to describe her SHINE transformation.