Rohan and Addo
In 2005 I came to Australia from Somalia I was 15 years old.  Everything was very different.  The Australian culture, communications and the language all made life difficult.  At school my teachers were expecting me to do my homework, but it would take me hours and hours just to understand the questions.  I had to  use the dictionary for almost every word.

I love to dance and in 2007 joined the Rotary Youth Arts Dance program held at Dancehouse and this led to me being invited by Tim to join the Rotary Next Step program.   I was then offered the opportunity to have a mentor arranged by Big Brothers Big Sisters.  I was very happy but at the same time I worried if the mentor would understand my situation.
In 2008 I was introduced to Rohan (IT Manager Visy) my new mentor by Wendy from Big Brothers Big Sisters .  Rohan and I got along really well.  He is not just smart and professional but he also knows how to approach and help young people.

I always wanted to have my own business but I did not know how and what to do. I discussed my ideas with Rohan and he started to research them.  Tim took me to  a digital printing company Creffields to learn how a business operates. I met Frank the business owner and he offered me a job. Frank was nice and he used to take time off to explain to me how his business runs from day to day.  I found this very helpful.  I learned to communicate, cooperate, share ideas, and negotiate  with customers and co workers.

Darryl the Next Step Youth Worker arranged for me to do the Next Step CMyPeople career guidance testing.  This confirmed I was on the right path running a business with a focus on young people.  I completed a Personal Trainers course and now I have started my own business with a focus on my passions of soccer and helping young people.  Rohan and Tim still help me and I am training to qualify as a Youth Worker with Darryl’s help.

Now I am only 21 with a lovely partner, a father of a beautiful baby girl, a business owner and trying to establish a soccer club to get kids off the street.  I believe I would not be where I am today if this program did not exist.
This program has helped a lot of young people and I believe it will help many more in the years to come.

Addo  Abdulahi
November 2011