What kind of change is possible in your teenager?

Young people have a lot to deal with in 2022. A pandemic, stressed households, schooling, technology… the list goes on. We want to share with you the change one mother has seen in her son since attending the Junior Leader Program. It’s change like this drives us to do what we do.

My son is 14 and has ADHD, he suffered crippling anxiety and an uncontrollable screen addiction. His behaviour was disrespectful and unmotivated.

He struggled with being bullied at school. He felt like he was a victim.

I was hesitant about sending him on the Veteran Mentor’s Junior Leadership Program for nine days. He wasn’t even able to spend one night away from home because of his anxiety.

So, it was with a fair leap of faith that I sent him to the Junior Leadership Program.

I can say now that the fantastic Veteran’s team and program has been a game changer in his life and mine. His nine days away has been a catalyst for change. He arrived home with confidence, maturity and independence. For the first time, he was honest about his addiction to screens. He was committed to make changes.

We were aware that the program is a kick-start and the momentum for change needs to be supported at home. We were given the tools to assist in the shift in my son’s attitude and outlook through the parents’ day (which gave us perspective and new skills) and the follow-up mentor meetings online. Most important was the Reconnection Expedition, which was an amazing bonding opportunity for him and me.

During the Reconnection Expedition, VM Director Matt French said it best: “We go down to their darkest places with them, grab them by the collar, and say ‘You’re coming with me.’ ”

The Veterans do this through their exceptional leadership. I have witnessed great determination, strength, respect, and bravery in vulnerability, and I am so grateful our family has had this opportunity. I sincerely hope that others get to experience and benefit from this wonderful program.


Find out more about the Junior Leader Program 

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