It was in 2009 when my mum died of cancer. This was devastating alone, but what compounded the trauma was the fact that mum was our only living parent, and we did not have much support from our extended family.

At first, I felt lost and alone. It seemed that the world was a fast place where people were more engaged in the rat race and in climbing the status ladder, than helping a 23-year old and 16-year old who were lost and alone.

Despite this hardship, I tried to go to university and look after my younger brother, who was 16 at the time. It was extremely tough to complete studies and deal with the grief of losing my mum.

A chance meeting with a man in the UQ library turned the tide. I met Tinashe in the Law library, who soon invited me to church. Church was the turning point where I met like-minded people whom I felt had my genuine interests at heart. I soon met Jen Lee, who invited me to her lifegroup, and then Puay Siong. I found God a couple of days before Christmas 2012.

Finding God has brought new meaning to my life, where my life’s purpose is now to live in His will. I felt God asking me to use my experiences of hardship as the catalyst to help people in similar situations. Studying psychology would be a good vehicle to help people in disadvantaged situations, and with the power of God, I know I could turn my harsh circumstances into a positive influence for others.

My overall vision is to use my experiences and my faith in God to provide support programs for children in disadvantaged situations. If I am able to use my hardships as a source of inspiration to help others, it may have all been worth it.

Alex Monsour
Bachelor of Psychology (UQ)
Elevate S4, St Lucia Morning Service