Natalia is just 22 years old but has already achieved so much!
She was in and out of refuges and foster care as a child, before she started living with friends as a teenager.
Her home was unsafe for many years.
When Natalia was 15, she stayed at the Samaritans youth refuge at Maitland, and this is where she found out about the Student Accommodation program.
“I knew I wanted a better and healthier life for myself and here I was driven to securing a place at the Samaritans Student Accommodation at Wickham” says Natalia.
Natalia achieved this when she was in Year 10. She was self-motivated, catching a bus and train to St Paul's at Booragul to complete her high school education.
Natalia was a resident at Wickham for three years, as she finished school and started her Physiotherapy degree at the University of Newcastle.
She now lives independently, works part time at a swim centre and is finishing her degree.
Natalia is so grateful for the support of Samaritans, and the opportunities it gave her. She is running in the Hunter Valley Marathon on Sunday, 16 July 2023 and hopes to raise money for the Student Accommodation service that helped turn her life around.
Natalia said “I hope I can be an example of what you can do with the right support and the drive to want better life for yourself and your future family. Please join me, by supporting my fundraising appeal for the Samaritans Winter Appeal in 2023.”
You can support Natalia and others like her, by donating to her fundraising page.