Jordan Navie Turned His Life Around With the Help of YMCA!
I love it when I get to meet young, inspiring people who have overcome personal challenges to find direction and purpose in their life. Jordan Navie is one such person! He’s a polite, well-mannered 18 year old, whose agreed for me to share his story of success as part of my series: ‘Stories from the pot of gold’! Everyday people, doing everyday things that are extraordinary for them!
Mainstream schooling just didn’t work for Jordan! He struggled with the structure and discipline of the formal education system. He didn’t feel like he fitted in! As happens with teenagers who find themselves in a similar situation, he rebelled. Jordan said; “I was a bit of a bad kid! I was vandalising stuff, swearing, being aggressive and violent.”
The personal description Jordan gave of himself didn’t match the young man sat opposite me. But he was describing a period in his life where his behaviour was extreme and he was always getting suspended from school. Jordan continued; “I was stubborn and didn’t feel like mainstream education had a lot to offer! I didn’t enjoy sitting in a class being talked at.” This continual cycle of rebellion forced the system to find an alternative learning environment for Jordan. That’s when YMCA Vocational School Bundamba (YMCA) entered his life!
YMCA offers a positive learning environment to nurture disengaged students to achieve their full potential. Their programs enhance students’ practical and personal skills, and Jordan flourished in this nurturing environment. He said; “I am more of a visual, hands on learner and YMCA opened up my eyes to a better way of learning. The Teachers and Youth Workers were easy going and they treated me as an equal. They had the time to give me one-on-one support instead of making my own way.” He added; “They made me realise a lot of things! They switched it around for me and helped me mature!”
Jordan studied at YMCA for 2 years and he could not talk more highly of the experience. He said; “The free dress code made me feel I could still be my own person. I would wake up and still have to go to school, but for me it was a more pleasant experience.”
That support from the Youth Workers that Jordan talked of paid off big time! Not only did he graduate with his QCE (Queensland Certificate of Education). But he also attained a Certificate II in Hospitality and RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol). This was possible due to YMCA’s association with TAFE Bundamba. In a very resolute voice, he said; “I can honestly say that if I hadn’t gone to YMCA I wouldn’t have achieved any of those qualifications.”
He was then offered the opportunity to study a Certificate III in Hospitality. This led to a 1-year school based traineeship with the Coffee Club. They were so impressed with this progress they offered him a fulltime role.
I asked Jordan what attracted him to the hospitality industry and he said; “I’m a people person and was definitely the class clown at YMCA! I like making a positive environment for people and making them feel good. I also like the formal side of hospitality, being well dressed!”
While Jordan has been through a challenging period in his life, he’s been able to turn things around. I asked him if he ever suffered self-doubt or procrastination. He replied; “Yes, I can be quite negative sometimes. But I’m able to give myself some positive self-talk! Tell myself that I need to work through any struggles I have. At the end of the day, we all need to make the best with what we’ve got and do our own thing! Make our own success!”
He added; “The Coffee club is a very positive and supportive company to work for! The other staff members are great too! They share the same opinions and influences. It can get stressful in the café, so we support each other! They are a good bunch of people to be around and we enjoy a lot of banter! It also helps when I get a really positive customer. I thrive off positive vibes. That can give me a real boost!”
I asked Jordan if anyone had inspired him and he said; “Yes, definitely! That would have to be my Youth Worker Casey! She’s awesome! And there’s Jax as well!” He continued; “Music can be inspiring too and I sometimes look to other peoples success. People who dropped out of mainstream education like me! Who were still able to get somewhere, make something of themselves!”
It’s that inspiration that keeps Jordan focused. He’s proud of his accomplishments and in terms of the future, he said; “I have no current aspiration for further education. But I would consider further study if I had a big career goal. Like working towards a management position here at the Coffee Club. I also like the idea of being a Police Officer! Doing the right thing! Being on call to help someone in need! Being protective … like a mini super hero!”
He continued; “I have goals in other areas. I would like to move out and get my own house. Be good with my money and have savings! Get my licence and a car, and be able to maintain it all with ease! Not always struggling!”
Not bad goals to have and ones that I know he will put all his effort in to achieving as he moves forward in life. Thank you Jordan for sharing your story! I hope it has shown you that with focus and the right support you can turn things around in your life.
Please share his story because it may just bring a little inspiration to someone else you know. Also, if you’d like to share your own story of success, then I’d love to hear from you via email: email@example.com
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Enjoy your journey until next time!