Each year yLead offers two Schoolies Alternative trips, one to New Zealand and one to Cambodia. These trips are filled with students from around Australia who have just graduated their final year of school. They’ve chosen to celebrate their 13 years of school in a memorable and unique way.
As part of the trips, we have yLead mentors come along to offer advice and support to the participants. Here are what some of the 2019 mentors said about their time overseas!
Thrill Out 2019
Thrill out 2019, what a week! As I drove to the airport prior to leaving, I knew I was in for a special week, but the time I got to spend away with 27 year 12 leavers exceeded any and all expectations. Throughout our week together, I was blown away by the students’ capability to journey within themselves, thus allowing for authentic and meaningful relationships to be established and nurtured. Sharing a space with such a dynamic group of young people, their potential to change the world is palpable. In all my experiences with yLead, I have come to understand that the greatest value of leadership often lies in the ‘in between’ moments; how one acts when the spotlight is not shining on them, or when greatness isn’t so much ‘expected’. Thrill Out offered many of these moments, where in the midst of huge activities like the SkySwing and 24 Hour rafting challenge, I was reminded just how lucky I was to be spending my week with such unique, empowering individuals.
Kia Ora! Experiencing the week that was Thrill Out was exhilarating, emotional, genuine and real. Every day was jam packed; from white water rafting down rapids to singing karaoke in a steak house, this trip had it all. I was so impressed by the maturity of the Year 12 leavers, the group was so inclusive, engaged and present; bonding with them and learning from them was the highlight of the trip. I learnt how important it is to have courage and self-belief, to prevent hesitation in life. It was incredible to watch as each individual conquered their own fears on the swoop, sky swing and high ropes. Many of the activities pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but with the encouragement of the group behind me, I realised that I was capable. I will take these lessons with me throughout my life, and be forever grateful for the opportunity to be a yLead Mentor on the Thrill Out trip!
Help Out 2019
Help Out 2019. What a ride. For me, this trip has been a truly life changing experience. It has really taught me not only a lot about myself, but about the amazing people around me too. A key lesson this trip taught me is to have no excuses. The Khmer people work and live in a tough environment but despite that, never fail to smile. It taught me to be grateful for the opportunities given to me and to work hard with a smile on my face. This trip was such an eye-opening experience and would recommend it to absolutely everyone!
I still can’t find the right words to describe this trip. I learnt that loving wholeheartedly is a strength rather than a weakness, and to take away lessons from how the Khmer people react to the many difficult situations they face. And of course I couldn’t have asked for a better group of school leavers to go with – every single one of them were amazing, and we now all have 17 new lifelong friends.