Graduating high school in 2021 looks very different to how it has in the past. With a Zoom video graduation and no date for a school formal, our Campbelltown Community Centre hosted a surprise graduation party for Ben to celebrate the end of his schooling.

Everyone who attends Afford Community Centres is encouraged to celebrate their achievements while surrounded by lifelong friends.

“When I found out that Ben might not have a graduation ceremony because of the pandemic, I knew we had to do something. So I went to my seniors to see if they were on board, then we planned the surprise party,” said Lifestyle Assistant, Morgan Keane.

Morgan, alongside Lifestyle Assistants Sandra Morrissey and Alexandra Mesa, worked together to decorate the site. They organised cake, lunch and for everyone to sign a graduation teddy in the shape of an owl.

“It was a complete surprise. Ben was so appreciative and grateful. It was rewarding to have Ben thank me for the day and see him enjoy himself,” said Morgan.

This year has been challenging for Ben, having moved out into his apartment just before lockdown began. However, thanks to the support and guidance of his lifestyle assistants, Ben made the most of the lockdown. He used the downtime to focus on his major work for the visual arts HSC.

“His art is incredible. He has put so much hard work into it. The major art Ben created is inspired by how living with Autism affects his emotions. He is proud of himself and so are we,” continued Morgan.

Ben is looking forward to entering the workforce through Afford’s School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES.)

Afford Community Centres encourage you to celebrate your wins and support you at every stage of your journey.

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