Teen Challenge QLD held its annual Champions Night on Saturday 25 February, which celebrates the incredible transformations of young men and women graduating from both the rehabilitation and homelessness programs.
The event honours the perseverance of Teen Challenge QLD graduates who have overcome physical, mental and emotional struggles as a result of substance abuse.
Almost 200 people came to watch as eight brave young men and women stood proudly in front of family, friends and loved ones – publicly declaring their freedom from a life of addiction and energised with new hope as they embark on the next chapter of their lives. We also had the priviledge of celebrating current students who received awards of excellence for their personal growth!
Graduate Michael Platt says that without the Teen Challenge QLD program, he could have ended up in jail or dead.
“I was addicted to methamphetamines as well as OxyContin. It had completely destroyed my life and all the relationships I had. My family began to lose hope in me and to be honest I began to lose hope in myself,” said Mr Platt.
“I don’t know where I would be if I wasn’t here, I’m afraid to say I’d probably be either in jail or dead. One of the things I remember being a real breakthrough for me in the program was eventually realising that hope isn’t some kind of made up thing, that hope is real and that we are able to grab a hold of it.
“After finishing the program I’ve been able to stay around and instil into other students some of the things I’ve learned along the way.”
Teen Challenge QLD Executive Director Joanne Hobbs said the event is a constant reminder of the importance of continuing to fight against the war on drugs.
“My own son was addicted to crystal methamphetamine. I know that despair but I also know the overwhelming joy of watching that same life being restored, healed and set free,” said Ms Hobbs.
“This event reminds me that we can’t give up this fight for the next generation. We must be determined to face it head on and continue to do all we can to see young people live free from addictions.
“Many young people come through our programs as a last ditch attempt at life and it is because of programs like Teen Challenge’s that these young lives are not only saved, but positively changed for the future. Many of our graduates go on to complete further studies and return to volunteer in our centres to help give back to the community.”
This year’s Champion’s Awards recipients are:
New Hope House (Homelessness Program)
New Life Men’s Centre (Residential Rehabilitation Program)
New Life Women’s Centre (Residential Rehabilitation Program)
Awards of Excellence
Faatoe "Junior" Soe - Improving in Independent Living Skills
Johnathon Housego - Independent Living and Spiritual Growth Award
Cameron MacLennan - Endurance under Pressure Award
Braden Loof - Honesty and Integrity Award
Natasha Haagar - Patience and Endurance Award
Community Partners Awards
Toowoomba Indoor Sports Centre - 15 years
Centrelink - Evelyn Schuber - 15 years
Richard Adams Homes - 10 years
Home Ice Cream - 10 years
Sigmar's Electrical - 5 years
Empower Church - 5 years
Travis Rex - 5 years
Jill Williams - 5 years
Andrew Lee - 5 years
Michelle Pryce - 5 years
Joanne Hobbs - 5 years