Katrina Johnson and Brett Briggs are ready for a night with Julie Cross - The Sparkle Lady.
Katrina Johnson and Brett Briggs are ready for a night with Julie Cross - The Sparkle Lady. Gary Worrall

CATS will sparkle with Julie

THE transition from school to adulthood is a difficult process for most young people, but for those with a disability, it is even tougher.

That is the experience of Katrina Johnson, CEO of Community Access and Transition Services (CATS) Inc, an Ipswich-based group focused on helping disabled youth have their 'best life' as they make the transition.

Ms Johnson founded CATS after completing a research program into the needs of school leavers.

"It became clear that disabled school leavers were in danger of falling through the cracks, and it saddened me,” Ms Johnson said.

"I was a similar age, I had a lot of dreams and ambitions, but they could not do the same.”

Working with the parents of disabled youth, Ms Johnson founded CATS, creating the 'Live Your Best Life' program.

"That is why we do Live Your Best Life; you have to step up and empower yourself, it is not given to us.

"We give young people the support to achieve their goals and ambitions.”

Ms Johnson said this period is a critical time in life where they are trying to figure out 'Who am I and where do I fit into my world' and 'How do I make my mark?'.

To help fund this work, CATS is holding its annual 'Live Your Best Life' event on Sunday September 25 at Ipswich Girls Grammar.

"It is a high tea, catered for by IGGS students, and our guest speaker is Julie Cross, The Sparkle Lady.”

Known for her sequinned shirts, the reason for her nickname, Ms Cross talks about taking responsibility for your life.

"It is not about living a charmed life; it is how you respond, react and create to live a full life and take personal responsibility,” Ms Johnson said.

"It is an inspirational morning tea that will encourage our audience to empower themselves, get to know themselves better and take personal responsibility to help them live a happier life. This is the same message that we impart to the young people of CATS.”



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