Ella’s Story: Navigating Post-School Success with Caringa Australia

In 2022, like many other Year 12 students, Ella found herself pondering the classic question of “what comes next?” Fortunately, with the unwavering support of her educators at Valley Hope School, Ella began exploring her options.

Guided by Valley Hope School, Ella secured a meaningful volunteer position at a local op shop. This experience proved invaluable, encouraging her growth in money handling, customer service and retail skills. Taking a collaborative approach, local NDIS provider, Caringa Australia, worked closely with Ella, her family and the Valley Hope teachers to enhance this work experience. Together, they facilitated Ella’s transition from the school environment to broader post-school support systems, such as Caringa Australia.

Post-graduation, Ella engaged Caringa Australia’s support through their School Leavers Employment Scheme (SLES) program. This program opened doors for Ella, allowing her to engage in a variety of work experiences, ranging from vet nursing assistance to aged care. Through there opportunities, she developed crucial employable skills like money handling and public transport training, fostering not only professional growth but also building her confidence and independence.

Fast forward two years, and Ella has achieved a significant milestone, securing open employment at Mareeba Aged Care in Maclean, where she has bloomed as an employee for nearly a year. Supported by Caringa Australia’s dedicated support worker, Michelle, and the Mareeba staff, Ella actively contributes to enriching resident’s lives through various activities such as bingo, exercise and the annual footy tipping competition.

Reflecting on her journey so far, Ella shares, “Before, I was a bit unsure, but I am proud of the confidence I’ve gained in doing things on my own. Mareeba is big and it can be difficult remember where everything is, but I am getting there.”

Michelle adds, “I am amazed at the confidence Ella has developed. I can now stand back and be there if she needs me, but Ella is ‘all over it.’”

Ella’s story so far is one of accomplishment and growth, and we eagerly anticipate hearing more about her future successes. Stay tuned for updates on Ella’s fantastic achievements.

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