Jamison Brown, a graduate from Warakirri’s Class of 2019 joined the Class of 2020’s graduation ceremony to talk about his experience at the college and provide an update on how his life has been going after school. Take a look at his wonderful, heartfelt speech below:
Hello to the teachers, parents, friends and family of our graduating class, and to my classmates joining me in life after school.
I want to first say how proud I am of you all, and all the teachers, for the year you have survived.
When I joined this school in 2017, I was looking for somewhere that would let me be myself, and get my education at the same time. I’d been previously expelled, and I felt hopeless since my childhood dream had always been to be the first in my family to finish high school. Warakirri restored my faith I had lost after years of bullying and isolation.
The classes were minuscule when I first started, having nine students in total, rising slowly and slowly week by week. In my first week, I had already started to consider this school my safe place.
The teachers are and were all so amazing and patient and kind to any student, no matter their past. They took the time to understand you, and your learning style, and the first name basis really helped us feel closer and more friend-like with our teachers. They prepared me for things I never knew I was going to need, with strength in myself that I never knew I had until I had needed it.
This last year, I’ve spent balancing a casual job at McDonald’s to make ends meet, did a writing job for a company for six months before becoming homeless in June and finding my way from there. I was couch surfing for a while, until temporarily moving in with my cousin and beginning the journey to start a course I never thought I’d choose before I came to Warakirri – Accounting.
When I got the call to come and talk at this year’s graduation, I simply couldn’t miss it. I couldn’t have thought of a better way to get to express my thanks to the staff of Warakirri College, to Ms Blanden, to my classmates and my friends and all my teachers.
Thank you for teaching me how to be resilient, thank you for teaching me how to be strong, thank you for teaching me how to look in the face of adversity and hold my place. Thank you for bringing back the part of me that loved education and loved myself. Thank you for understanding me, for hugging me and listening to me cry and sob, rant and info-dump, you have all changed my life.
Warakirri College changed my life, they gave me a second chance, they believed in me and I believe that there is no school better for giving children a second chance.
Learn more about how Warakirri College helps young people like Jamison stay connected with their education and achieve their goals.