Both boys have been on a tougher journey than most, so the road to the HSC was not an easy one.
However, with the right support and some determination, they pushed themselves across the finish line and could not be prouder.
“I didn’t think I would finish. I thought I was going to drop out – I definitely made it a lot further than I thought I would,” Jacob said.
“I reckon I did alright in it too.”
Sean adds that he feels relieved to have made it this far and is excited to no longer think of school.
“There were some good moments and bad,” he said.
“The workload that gets pushed onto you in senior years was very stressful, but I am excited for what comes next and a little bit scared.
“My end goal is to do a degree in Architecture, but before that, I plan on taking a gap year to work and travel.”
Sean’s carer and Auntie Cheryl is beaming with pride for her nephew.
“I am very proud of him. He’s the second person in our family to get to Year 12 and have a vision for the future,” she said.
“I am really happy about where he has ended up.”
Jacob also has a clear plan for his future. In December, he wants to move into his own place before undertaking an apprenticeship in carpentry.
When asked if they were proud of themselves, the answer was a resounding “yes”.
The pair attribute some of their success to the support of CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning and it’s Permanency Support Program (PSP).
“I want to express my gratitude for everything that CatholicCare has done since I first stepped into this – I have to say a whole lot of thank yous,” Sean said.
“CatholicCare has been there just making sure I’m not being left behind – regularly checking that I have everything I need.
“They’ve pretty much been doing everything in the best possible way that they can.
“I feel reassured that I can fall back on CatholicCare. If I ever need any help in the future, I can always ask my caseworker.”
Jacob shares a similar sentiment.
“They’ve been there to support us the whole way through school to push us through it and make sure we’re okay,” he said.
“I want to say thanks for all your help and support when we needed it.”
Jacob’s caseworker Kate Patterson is excited to see what comes next for him.
“I could not be prouder of his achievements,” she said.
“He’s come such a long way and has experienced things most people his age would have no idea about.
“Jacob is one of the only people in his family to finish high school – it’s a big deal, and I feel really lucky to have played a part in getting him across the finish line.”
Sean’s caseworker Talea Doolan is just as proud.
“Sean’s worked so hard over the last couple of years – it’s great to see him get this far and have so much excitement for the future,” she said.
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