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A place to belong

Hi my name is Kaitlyn.

I’m one of Pride Land’s mentors. On my first day at Pride Lands I thought it was going to be my last. Picture this, 10 minutes into my Pride Lands interview (and into an intense game of “Sharks and Survivors”) I’ve landed onto my bum – back to the floor and legs in the air. As I looked at the world upside down I thought that was it – they’d never hire me now. How could they accept me to be a part of them after such a blunder?

Growing up I was never the most athletic or most socially adept child. I couldn’t keep up in team sports, always picked last for games and struggled to fit in with my peers. As a kid, it sometimes felt isolating. For periods of time, if my only friend wasn’t at school, I’d spend my lunchtimes alone – too scared to try hang out with any of the other kids. All through primary school and further into college I faced this struggle – constantly bogged down by my own lack of confidence and inability to socialise with my peers.

Pride Lands Kaitlyn Belongs

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Pride Lands is the safe space I wish I had as a kid. I’ve learnt so much about myself, and these children. I’ve grown in confidence, in strength and in my personal identity. I can see that due to the encouraging and inclusive, yet guided and disciplined environment, children are able to grow into themselves, into their personalities, without fear of being rejected. I can see that if I had had this space as a child, I would’ve been able to learn many lessons that I’ve learnt as an adult, much earlier when I needed them the most.