I enrolled at Alta-1 while I was in an abusive relationship which mirrored my destructive past and had lead to heavy drug addiction and disconnection. I had no hope for the future, in fact I had no vision whatsoever. I remember feeling nothing but sadness, shame and emptiness. I had literally hit the self-destruct button, without realising. After attending over 16 different schools throughout my life I had never had a stable education, or community to turn to in times of need. My Mother was in bed majority of my childhood, my Dad was in and out of my life, siblings in another city and no other family, I became depressed. As a little girl I was exposed to sexual and emotional abuse, my Mother attempting suicide and being admitted to hospital, left me with next to no family. When I began at Alta I was 15,renting in a home my Dad owned, feeding and caring for myself on a minimal income. Alta- 1 taught me the practical skills I needed to endure this time in my life . I also was blessed with people who looked out for me, who always went the extra mile to talk with me, motivate me and make sure I was ok. The personal recovery program was probably the most beneficial part of the course for me although, it opened the wounds of the past, it began an invigorating journey of self-awareness and recovery that I am still travelling on today. I fell pregnant late 2014 and went on to graduate year 11 but I needed to be in Perth to complete year 12 and had nowhere to live. A beautiful family from church took my pregnant self in and supported me while I worked towards completing my certificate. After having my daughter I still had 180 hours of work experience to finish and a newborn baby added to the mix, the church was amazingly helpful and flexible, offering me to complete these hours in their reception. I went on to graduate year 12 receiving the dux award and was accepted into ECU. I now think of Cornerstone as a place of acceptance and trust, a place of God. It took me a long time to accept the kindness and love that was so freely offered because my experience with people in the past was rarely positive. But I can truly say these were the people who were there for me to pick up the pieces when times were especially rough. I believe if I wasn’t directed towards Alta-1 I would not have become the person I am today, who is constantly trying to be the best version of myself, determined to overcome my past experiences and create the most wonderful life possible for my daughter and I. I thank everyone who has helped me through this journey and still do so, it has changed my life in the best way possible.