#BTGP’s Amanda helps wheelchair-bound Noel fulfil her modelling dream.

‘No matter what happens to you, your thoughts, words and actions are yours; no one can strip them away from you. You always have your freedom of choice’ – Amanda Betts

 We at #BTGP are about a helping hand, not handouts; helping youth help themselves. This often means we’re part of making wishes come true.

Like this Gisborne-based young woman: make up artist, blogger and photographer, Noel. Noel applied through MAKE A WISH FOUNDATION to be a model for a day despite being wheelchair-bound and only able to stand for two minutes at a time.

#BTGP’s Amanda Betts was asked to be Noel’s model mentor, and with the love and support from an incredible team of people doing her model make over, Amanda art directed Noel’s shoot.

Amanda then arranged press for Noel, because there’s nothing like the feeling of seeing yourself in a magazine. Megan McChesney of Woman’s Day loved Noel’s personal story and bravery so much, WD published a story on her.  Check it out here (hyperlink)

With the work Amanda & people of #BTGP are doing in their bid to help reduce recidivism, their work with youth offenders in and out of lock up and incarcerated youth wahine, Amanda was inspired by both the definition of freedom and how so many youth offenders have it on tap, but abuse it. Yet someone like Noel will never enjoy the freedom to dance like crazy ‘round a bonfire with her mates, jump into a lover’s arms, run through fields of flowers or away from the cops, let alone the chance to run for her life.

The stories we’ve heard of what incarcerated youth will do once they get their freedom back… Yet stats and newspapers scream when many of our young offenders do regain their freedom, they go and abuse it, again.

With the belief freedom really does come from within, and based around Noel’s beautiful imagery intertwined with Amanda’s personal experiences of freedom being robbed of her, 15-year old Amanda silently sung in her head the lyric’s of ‘Devo’s  FREEDOM OF CHOICE the last time her mother lay her hands on her. Amanda left home and school two weeks later.

Because no matter who you are, what’s happened or is happening to you, you always have your power, your voice, your freedom, your choice.