Simeon joined Oakhill College as a Youth Minister this year from Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea and is enjoying his work. I got the opportunity to catch up with him at the College and took the opportunity to find out a bit more about him and his story so far:

Can you tell us about your family?
I am the fifth child out of seven children. I grew up in the city, reasonably well off in PNG and that made me want to give back to the community.

Who had an influence on your life growing up?
I would say my parents have had a strong influence in my life, particularly my mother who is a teacher and a minister in the church.

What were some significant experiences from your school life?
In PNG, I was a leader at my school as I enjoy helping students. Often other leaders and I would travel around the school or local area looking for kids we recognised and thought maybe getting into trouble on the streets. We would try and talk to them and encourage them not to head down the path towards danger and crime.

Did this work?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Sometimes we would spend a lot of time with these troubled teens in an attempt to show them there is another way of life.

What made you join the Lasallian Youth Ministers?
I really enjoyed working as a school leader, but wanted to broaden my horizons after school, so I applied to volunteer to work as a Youth Leader and my application was accepted.

What do you think of Oakhill College?
Oakhill College is my first placement and I love the school, the people and the kids. Everyone is very kind and supportive.

What sort of work are you doing here?
I’ve learnt so many things from being here and I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone by the teachers and mentors at Oakhill. At the beginning of the year, I was assisting with Year 7 students by helping them settle into high school, mentoring them and creating friendship bonds for them. I know a lot of them now and they come and talk to me in the yard.

I’ve also been helping out in the Religious Education Department and I’m currently assisting in Learning Support.

What are your ambitions?
My ambition is to be a Youth Minister and to continue working with kids in schools.

Do you have any advice for students?
Yes, I’d say ‘never choose failure as an option in life and always remember that your current situation is not your final destination in life’.

Simeon is very grateful to his mentors Franco, Matt, Mrs Isaacs and all the Learning Support staff who have helped him enormously and he is grateful for their guidance.

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