Laura

I have been at Berengarra for just over 18 months.

Before I found Berengarra I was a school refuser, I would go to school maybe 2 half days a week at the most. I would lye in bed and refuse to get up. I hated school so much, it felt like a prison to me. I would cry myself to sleep thinking that the next day I would have to go to school. I would cry when I woke up and fight with my parents for about 2 hours before they finally gave up.

I wouldn’t get out of bed all day my life was just sleep, eating and crying. I was at my 2 nd High School and there was still no change, school felt like it was a chore, it felt like a prison to me. I used to shut out the world, and just live in my bedroom. I shout out friends and shut out the whole world, and when I went out I still shut everything out. I used to wear guys clothes, huge baggy jeans, huge shirts, huge jumpers with hoods, and a beanie.

Then my parents stumbled across Berengarra. They thought it sounded too good to be true, so we went for an interview. It looked really good, like it could really help me, so we gave it a shot and I started that week. From then on I only have got better.

I now attend school every day, heave heaps of friends and don’t shut people out. On the weekends I go out and socialize instead of sleep my life away, yeah, I still have my lazy days, but I’m a teenager, what teenager doesn’t?

The things that Berengarra does that no other school does are just simple things that make a huge difference. Such as the teachers are on a first name basis, this means that they seem more like your friends than your superiors, yeah they are superior and have authority but they don’t use it as a weapon. They don’t expect to be respected they will earn you respect; you have to earn their respect the same. It just makes things an even playing field for everyone and makes it a much more relaxed environment. Also one of the big things they do is their motto ‘muck up, fix up’ this means that if you muck up, you fix it and then it’s over with. No more said, with at normal school I have found that teachers hold a grudge and don’t forget things, but at Berengarra they do, they go yeah you mucked up, but you fixed up so we are square and no more is said about the issue.

Basically me and both my parents believe that if we hadn’t found Berengarra, I would have killed myself, so what I say, Berengarra is a lifesaver, I really mean it!

30/5/05