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17 year old, Trevor Cook, is not the person he was six months ago. When he appeared on Insight's 'Young Mob' episode, he was struggling at school, regularly using alcohol and drugs, fighting and getting into trouble with the law. When asked by Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) presenter, Jennie Brockie, what stood in the way of him getting the life he wanted, peer pressure was a major factor. 'They influence me in a way to do so stuff. If they want to do something they'll convince me to come with them,' he said.
It's been over six months since the Insight program was aired which featured six teenagers who spoke candidly about a range of issues in their lives. For Trevor, the experience was the beginning of a profound change in the decisions he was making about his life. 'My life has changed completely, staying off all the drugs and that, not much alcohol, only on occasions, doing Maths and English, and once I finish that I'll be good to go for my apprenticeship.'
Trevor has spent most of the year completing a Certificate Two in Automatic Servicing - training he received at the Centre of Appropriate Technology (CAT) in Alice Springs. Anne Goodwin is Trevor's Career and Transitions Adviser at Centralian Senior College. 'CAT's a very successful program in that they provide a lot of support, he had a mentor there, transport was provided to and from the training course...it was a four day a week course and then on the Fridays Trevor would come into school. Trevor is a really clever, switched on, capable young man, so it didn't take too much, once he realised that there were a lot more options, the support was there,' says Anne.
The teenager's hard work has paid off even further; recently he was named the Indigenous Trainee of the Year by the Northern Territory Motor Vehicle Association. He and his mum, Jeannie, flew to Darwin to attend the award ceremony and Trevor says when they called his name it was 'breathtaking'.
Trevor acknowledges that it hasn't been an easy transition to make, but he had a point to prove. 'Most people, they'd put me down, saying that I'd never get out of this town, I'm just going to be a low life my whole life...I wanted to prove them wrong,' he says. 'Yeah, I decided to take my own road and that...and now look at me!'
Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation Alice Springs