Case Study: RW
RW (15) was recommended by his school to Challenger Troop, to help build up his self-confidence and self-esteem, and to overcome a natural shyness which had led to several instances of his being bullied both in and out of school.
“I was bullied from Year Seven to Year 10” he says. “I thought coming here would get me away from school for a while, help me make some new friends and get used to being around other people.”
The teaching assistant who accompanies RW on the programme said: “The difference has been phenomenal. He walks taller, straighter and prouder. He has come out of himself and is more confident talking to new people and making new friends. He has the confidence now to put his ideas and suggestions across, both on Challenger Troop programmes and in school. He has been promoted in Challenger so he has some responsibility for mentoring and encouraging the younger ones, which has raised his self- confidence and self-esteem further. He is pushing himself harder at school and his engagement in class and with his teachers has really improved.
“I’ve made new friends at school” he says. “I hardly ever get picked on any more because they know I’ll speak up.”
RW’s instructor here at Challenger Troop believes that since his return to us in September his confidence and maturity have continued to grow. She says, “He shows good leadership potential and this has resulted in him being given a new level of responsibility, meaning that he is often a team leader – a role he has taken to very well.
“The bullies just leave me alone now” he says. “Students on the bus see the uniform and ask me what it’s all about, when I tell they just back off. I’ve changed quite a bit. Coming to Challenger Troop does that, it changes you. People get to know you as a person and you know what it feels like being out there, not just stuck in the classroom.”
The Pastoral Leader at RW’s school said that staff and pupils had “noticed that RW was more confident. He used to stay in most lunchtimes with a few students and now he is happy to go out into the school playground and be with lots of friends. He is much happier, I can’t remember the last time he came in complaining about other students’ behaviour”.