Real Stories

Check out these real stories of change.

Samar, Wyong High School, 2018

Samar was a participant in the Creating Chances program at Wyong High School in 2018.

Prior to her participation, Samar described her school life as ‘challenging’ and a cycle of negative and disruptive behaviour resulted in almost 100 ‘negative incidents’ and multiple detentions in the previous two years. Class teachers noted that although she had potential, her effort application “needed improvement” and her academic results were well below her capabilities.

After being recommended for the Creating Chances program in 2018, and with the help and support of our Facilitators, Samar began to improve her relationships with teachers and peers and set about turning around her engagement with school. Since the start of the program, she has achieved an almost 100% reduction in her negative incidents and detentions, and her effort is now “excellent”, resulting in A grades across the board. 

Samar loved the program so much that she was motivated to seek a work experience placement with Creating Chances in Term 4 2019, where she assisted in the delivery and management of programs on the Central Coast. As a result, Samar has now chosen to pursue School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBAT) working alongside Creating Chances in 2020.

While still a High School student, Samar is now acting as an Assistant Facilitator, shadowing and learning from Head Facilitator Eve at two schools around Lake Macquarie.

“Samar is an exceptionally caring, energetic and insightful young leader who I have had the absolute privilege of mentoring over the past term. She has immersed herself in the process of becoming a Creating Chances Facilitator and demonstrated a huge commitment to improving her organisational skills, session planning and delivery, professional liaising with teachers and above all her ability to create strong and meaningful connections with the students that we work with. Samar has been able to challenge herself in each session and I have seen her continuously step out of her comfort zone to improve her facilitation skills by working closely with highly disengaged students and creating strategies to assist in their positive development. She has grown deeper into her natural leadership abilities and it has been wonderful to witness this boundless growth.” – CC Facilitator Eve

Samar is aiming to continue her journey to becoming a Creating Chances Head facilitator in the future as well as pursuing further studies. She is truly a Legend in the making.

Mikayla, Wyong High School, Champions program, 2018

“When I first joined Creating Chances I was very timid and closed up. Since being part of Creating Chances I have spoken up and come out of my shell. I am not afraid to speak up or have a go anymore.I can now get myself in more opportunities and activities without being shy. I can take up more opportunities because I can speak up and get involved. Rob and Jayme have created a safe environment for us girls to be in. Especially being an all-girls group. They made sure there was no discrimination, so it was a comfortable space where I was not afraid to talk.”

“Mikayla started the program very shy and unwilling to talk in front of the group. The last few weeks she was much more willing to talk in front of the class and give answers.She enjoyed the activities a lot more after realizing she was free from teasing or harassment. Mikayla will be much more willing to coach next term and participate in challenging activities as a result of her new found confidence.” Rob Sutton, Head Facilitator

Karmen, Fairfield IEC, Coaches program, 2018

Karmen’s confidence levels were low in the beginning of the program and she was constantly putting herself and her abilities to communicate down.  However, through all the activities, encouragement and pre-coaching facilitated by our legends Zahrah and Elizabeth, Karmen began to find confidence and belief in herself and her abilities. She really worked hard to deliver the best sessions possible for the Primary School pupils.

She also became a leader for her own group who involved two other student Coaches and was constantly encouraging them to step out of their comfort zone and be the best leaders they can be.

“Since being a part of the Creating Chances Coaches Program I have overcome many challenges. This program has had a significant impact on my life and will continue to have a positive impact moving forward as it has given me the confidence to talk to anyone now without the fear of embarrassment. It has also taught me responsibility as well as different ways to become a leader for others. Furthermore, the Creating Chances Coaches Program taught me different things about myself I didn’t know about such as enjoying teaching/coaching little kids, confidence to lead, skills to become a leader and different ways to work as a team. The whole program itself and its layout is extremely beneficial. It really made me step out of my comfort zone and create and do things that I never thought I had in me. Zahrah and Elizabeth, our Facilitators’, have had a significant contribution to all my achievements through this program. Their humble personalities, positivity and constant motivation and encouragement helped me and the rest of the Student Coaches to really feel confident about ourselves and always wanting to give it 100% to make them and ourselves proud and happy.”

Liverpool Boys High School, Coaches program, 2018

During the second week of coaching, the sky was overcast but we were able to walk to Warwick Farm Primary School, set up and begin the session before light rain started falling. With 60 Primary School students divided over 5 groups, the boys had a choice: cancel the session, or adapt the session with the resources available to us.

The weather created an opportunity for the boys to problem–solve a situation quickly, and in a timely manner. Saif realized he had a good idea, looked around and saw no one else had solved the problem, so he stepped forward and took on a leadership role. He decided to shift all the students to the COLA and play an adapted version of dodgeball that would include them all. He coordinated the team, spoke to the teachers and managed a round-robin dodgeball competition.

Emre, Lurnea IEC, Coaches program, 2018

“Emre has always been a very quiet student. He was very reluctant to speak in front of people and express himself freely. Over the course of the coaches program, I could see a change in him and his ability to coach the primary students. He has completed the coaches program twice and through it all, there has been a significant change in his confidence and ability to lead independently. His confidence to lead by himself and his growth in his coaching skills through this program is vital for him to communicate with others effectively, express his emotions and feelings, and also work with others cohesively.” Paul Saulog, Head Facilitator

Krish, Shalvey Campus (Chifley College), Champions program, 2018

“Krish didn’t start very well with us, being negatively influenced by some peers that didn’t guide him to the right path.From weeks to weeks, he showed more and more interest, participating more on the field but the great change was in class. He completed every task, every single activity with great attention and making sure Pauline read/saw what he had done and adjusting/ pushing he’s thinking further when necessary. One of the main things we noticed was that as the weeks went on he showed more of a willingness to participate even though the students he was associated weren’t entirely engaged. He could have easily gone with the rest of the group but he chose to engage and worked hard to get the most out of this program.Being his listener, a person who believed on him, on his abilities, and gave him a chance was a wonderful experience.” – Pauline, Head Facilitator

“Creating Chances has helped me with my behaviour, being good and participating more in all subjects at school.  In the activities that we have done, I learnt to work together, to listen to each other and give everyone a go. Creating Chances is important to be part of to become a role model for young kids. Everyone should have the opportunity to do Creating Chances. I wish it was lasting the whole year and from year 8 to year 10.” – Krish


Rhiannon, TLSC Berkeley Vale Campus at Chittaway Bay PS, Coaches program, 2018

From the outset Rhiannon made it clear that she did not like children and was going to struggle with the program. However, her experience coaching in the first week swiftly changed that expectation and she became one of the most involved and caring coaches. Her input in weekly game design became more focused and creative. She became assertive with students who showed challenging behavior and would seek out students attempting to not participate and encourage them back in to the game. Rhiannon highlighted that her personal enjoyment grew each week and she was very proud of her progress with speaking to the students.

Rhiannon’s ability to put in effort despite being reluctant to coach children, and then realizing that she has natural ability and worked harder to create interesting and challenging games for the children, is such an important life lesson. She has experienced that although sometimes you may not think that you have the confidence or skills to achieve something, limiting yourself is going to stop you before you have started. Now she knows that she has the ability to change her own opinions, her voice is valued and has great input, and her confidence in teaching others has grown exponentially. – Eve, head facilitator

‘At the start I was very scared to work with the kids because I didn’t like them. But now I’m a lot more confident and can work with them well. My coaches helped me overcome this in a very positive way. They are very supportive. This program has given me a lot of confidence in myself, to teach others and to express my opinion. I’m very happy with the outcome’ – Rhiannon