12 months of kicking goals for Step Up Sydney graduate Tiago Tiago joined the Step Up Sydney program 12 months ago as he had heard that the program supports young people to learn a range of new skills to live independently.During his time in the program, Ladder Development Coaches worked with Tiago to develop his skills and work towards achieving his goals. Tiago identified that he wanted to get his mental health back on track and work on his physical fitness to live a healthier life. Tiago also wanted to join the Defence Force as well as become a mechanic. “The program assisted me to improve the skills I had and gain new ones that I did not have before such as cooking and budgeting skills” Since graduating from the program and joining the Alumni as a program Youth Mentor, Tiago engaged in a number of meaningful experiences throughout the year. “I have been part of the Men’s Health Week event with the GWS GIANTS Football Club and it was such a positive experience to talk to GWS Giants players Phill Davis and Harry Himmelberg about the Ladder program and how it’s changed my life. I was also a part of the Ladder Step Up Sydney’s Impact Report launch in August, where I spoke on stage and about the good work Ladder is achieving and how they have supported young people such as myself. That was a really cool experience as I got to meet a lot of important people, including NSW Minister Natasha Maclaren-Jones. In December, Ladder organised a Christmas party at the GWS GIANTS to celebrate our achievements. I received the “Most Consistent” award that day which made me feel very accomplished.” Tiago recently completed school and has now applied for a job as a butcher. He felt this would help with his finances as he planned to move into independent living and he will revisit his career goals again later. Tiago was successful and found the process in applying quite easy. He thanked Ladder for supporting him in preparing for the job interview and getting job ready.In his new role as a Butcher, Tiago has been able to utilise the skills he learned in the Step Up Sydney program. “Well, the biggest skill was social skills and making sure to treat the customer with respect and kindness. Ladder’s mentoring approach really assisted me with this whilst also preparing me for the job interview.” We’re so proud of Tiago’s achievements and wish him well. We look forward to continuing to support him on his journey.