Sherry used to hang out until the wee hours with her friends in the neighbourhood, sometimes returning home only the next morning. Many of these friends were affiliated to gangs, smoked and even took drugs. Sherry did not take drugs, but would smoke together with them even though she was underage. She would also get involved in settlement talks at times.
By Secondary 1, she had dropped out of school and was spending her time loitering with her friends. She did not like to go home as there were frequent conflicts with her mother and sisters.
During the period of Guidance Programme (GP) by Fei Yue Community Services, Sherry continued to default GP sessions and break curfew occasionally, as she was not used to having structure and discipline in her life. As a result, she was extended for 3 months.
The counselling and groupwork sessions helped her tremedously to make a U-turn in her life. The sessions gave her the experience of having someone focus on her strengths and not her weaknesses, as well as the support of having someone believe in her, despite her mistakes.
Sherry returned to school when GP started and with the support of her teachers, school counsellors and friends, she began to be regular in her school attendance, and found new confidence in both her academics and Co-curriculum activity (CCA) – Track and Field. Sherry even represented her school in her CCA. Furthermore, when her teachers discovered her leadership abilities, she was groomed to be a student leader in her class, where she helped to guide her peers positively.
She has stopped associating with friends of negative influence, as she was determined to lead a different life. Sherry’s friends now encourage her to study hard to achieve her goals. Her goal is to be able to graduate from Secondary school with good grades, and a changed positive impression with all her teachers and friends. Furthermore, Sherry aim to graduate from Polytechnic or even University one day, to lead better life for her and her family.
Through Extra Mile programme, Sherry shared with her caseworker that her family situation had improved significantly, both financially and relationally. She recognized that her newfound patience towards her mother, as well as coming home early and being trustworthy had contributed to her mother having trust in her. As such, there was less nagging and fewer conflicts.
Sherry had also been selected to be on the Handball team in her school recently, which was a huge privilege for her. Sherry now participates in 2 CCAs and is happy with her current lifestyle as she realizes that being positively engaged helped to keep her out of trouble.