Sometimes, all it takes to turn your life around is someone who believes in you and is willing to support you.
For Yvonne Taiaroa-Snowden, the team at Inwork provided the assistance which has seen the young Palmerston North woman take major steps towards positive change.
When Yvonne made a decision to move away from a life of drugs and crime, a friend suggested she attend Ignite Colleges.
Yvonne says choosing to change her lifestyle has been challenging at times, as some of her friends and family are entrenched in the scene, but her determination to live to her full potential has kept her on-track.
At Ignite Colleges, Yvonne studied Pre-Police and Defence Force Training and loved it, her tutors and the new friends she made.
However, when she finished her course, she says she felt alone and lost again, until she attended a Tupu Aotearoa Inwork workshop, facilitated by Inwork Branch Manager Maria Ioane.
Inwork is a Service Provider for the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) initiative Tupu Aotearoa, which provides the tools and qualifications for Pacific people to find employment and fulfil their potential.
After meeting with the Inwork team a few times, Yvonne’s confidence grew and asking for help was no longer an issue, Maria explains.
“While speaking with Yvonne, we found out she had no bed or washing machine, and she was living in a rough apartment – so we took her to get several quotes and coached her to speak to Work and Income about those quotes,” Maria adds.
“Both her bed and washing machine were delivered within three working days, and her Tenancy Manager was looking into transferring her to a safer apartment.”
Maria checks in regularly with Yvonne, who she says has made leaps and bounds, and keeps a positive mindset about her future.
Although initially shocked and grateful for Tupu Aotearoa and Inwork’s help, Yvonne can now focus on finding employment, knowing she has the right support.
She is currently waiting to hear about a job she has applied for, with Maria’s help.
“I am a lot stronger and determined now to keeping striving to keep one foot forward and follow it,” Yvonne says.
“Support is very important, and it has played a major part in why I am today smiling and contemplating a brighter future.
“I don’t ever want to go back to where this journey started.”