Styling from the inside out

Eight young women on the Sunshine Coast have been given extra support as they prepare to transition to adulthood, learning how self-worth can help them create a brighter future as part of the ‘Styling from the Inside Out’ program.

The program, run by Prue from Savvy Style & Training, aims to teach young women that they have the power to write their own narrative and build healthy relationships with their family, friends and partners.

“The program is about changing the internal dialogue of these young women, helping them to set healthy boundaries and reinforcing the idea that they can create their own legacy,” says Prue.

“At the end of the week, we finish with a makeover to reflect these changes on the outside.

“We also teach them situationally appropriate behaviour and coach them for public speaking at the graduation, which is celebrated with a high tea.”

Styling up - toolbox for success

The program was reintroduced in 2018 after Child Safety Officer (CSO) Jodie noticed there was a gap for some of the young women known to Child Safety who needed some guidance in their transition to adulthood.

Having seen the program’s success before, she enlisted the Daniel Morcombe Foundation to help fund the program and worked with other CSOs to identify potential participants.

“The girls who take part are chosen by where they’re at with their development and sense of self. Often they have personal growth goals but aren’t quite sure how to get there, and this program gives them a taste of success and self-worth which they might not have experienced before.”

Jodie says even after just four days, you can see a huge amount of development in the young women.

“One of the young girls who took part has really poor self-image, and since the program you can see her taking more pride in her appearance and sense of self. Her attitude is more positive.

“Another one of the girls was suspended from school before the program started, and on returning to school she actually reached out to her safety and support networks at school and asked for help. It’s something she never would have done before,” says Jodie.

The girls finish the four-day course with a high tea, and are asked to pick an inspirational quote to share with the group. One girl from the program chose: Your past is just a story, and once you realise this it has no power over you.

A hand-written note from a participant saying thank you to the team who organised the program. "I am thankful for being given the chance to come here and meet all the beautiful people. One of the things I have enjoyed in this course is building confidence in myself to speak infront of a group. I would like to say thank you so much for the make over and for having me.

While the program is over for now, the girls met again to apply what they’ve learnt to writing a resume and practicing their interviewing skills. Jodie says it’s really about them learning how to be a young adult.

“This program includes stuff that a lot of mums do with their teenagers, and many of these girls haven’t had a mum to teach them. The program nurtures and strengthens these girls, and the experience is very moving.”