Sadie didn't feel that she had anything to live for after coming out of rehab. She had been institutionalised for 9 months and had burned all her bridges due to her drug past. She had forgotten how to laugh and be herself after years spent in the living hell of addiction.
Unsure of where to turn to next for help, Sadie's caseworker suggested she attend Creative Youth Initiative's (CYI), Sounds of the Street program in Surry Hills.
"CYI brought me out of my shell and gave me reason and determination. I felt like I had people that really needed and wanted me around. If I didn't want to talk about how I felt, they'd just encourage me to jam it out. CYI definitely brought laughter back into my life. It gave me friends that feel like family and teachers that feel like second parents."
Sadie couldn't remember the last time she was in such a warm and welcoming learning environment. This is thanks to you, for without your ongoing support, CYI wouldn't be able to keep its doors open and provide these transformational experiences for young people.
"For me, CYI was about making friends, having fun and learning... the teachers really cared about us; they worked with us very closely and helped to build up our self-esteem."
Sadie now works four days a week and regularly attends band practice and performs at gigs with friends she made at CYI. She's managed to stay clean for over two years and has become fully self-supporting, renting in the private market and no longer reliant on Centrelink.
Recently Sadie summoned the courage to stand on stage and share her story in front of hundreds of guests at our Blank Canvas fundraising event. Many eyes in the room welled up with tears as Sadie spoke about the adversity she had overcome to stand before them and sing her heart out. Her voice was angelic and her words were wise beyond her years.
"I'm very proud of what I've achieved. My goals are simple; to be happy, one day at a time. In the end, that's all that's going to matter. I think I'm achieving that now. I'm proud of where I've come from and where I am now. I am forever grateful to CYI, the teachers and the caseworkers there. They literally loved me back to life".
While Sadie's story is a testament to both her hard work and the dedication of the CYI staff, it is also a testament to your loyalty and generosity. Without your ongoing support, stories like this would be fewer and farther between. Thank you for believing in these young people; it means the world to them.