School is one of the most memorable chapters of life but for some, the memories are far from pleasant.

When Kyla looks back at her time at school, she remembers the hurtful insults that were hurled at her every day. At home, things weren’t any better. Her dad had difficulty coping with raising Kyla as a single parent. By the age of eight, Kyla was in foster care.

Kyla remembers being hopeful when she started high school.

“I started off with a few friends, but those friends became popular and by year nine, my self-esteem was at an all-time low,” says Kyla. “I coped by studying and although my grades were good, my mental health was declining.”

The bullying started intensifying in year 10 and only grew worse until year 11.

Every time Kyla tried to tell her teachers about her anxiety and depression, they failed to take her seriously.

Kyla heard about Mission Australia’s Flexible Learning Options (FLO) program and decided to give it a try, as a final chance to complete year 12.

“It went better than I thought,” says Kyla. “I made new friends and got stuck into study and reflected on my mental health.”

Despite my family situation, mental health and housing issues, I decided I was going to graduate from school.Kyla

With support from the team at FLO, Kyla’s self-confidence improved and she recently celebrated the completion of her Certificate III in business.

“The FLO program not only helped me to finish year 12 with a qualification but also to grow as a person,” says Kyla.

“It gave me the confidence to secure a home and a job. So much has changed for me. I went from waking up feeling sick with anxiety every morning to working and feeling a sense of control over my life.”

Funded by the Department of Education, through Loxton High School, the FLO team at Loxton continue to help vulnerable young people like Kyla learn and thrive.


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