Hedland Senior High School Coordinator, Simon Thompson, believes the program truly makes a difference to the lives of students and mentors alike.
“We have a wide range of students from straight-A to those wanting to pass a subject for the first time. The common theme is that they have committed to make an effort to improve academically.”
“They are wonderful students who want to be at school when everyone else has gone home,” exclaims Simon.
“At its heart it is an academic program, but it is much more than that. The informal community atmosphere makes it a place students and mentors want to spend time at after school,” he said.
“Teachers and mentors say that visiting the program and working with our students is the highlight of their week.”
“The town attracts professionals from a diverse range of industries, what better way to give back to the town than to share your expertise with the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders. Even basic skills that you may take for granted, could make a world of difference to these students.”
Currently 56 students are listed under this program from Hedland Senior High School in Years 7-12.
EdConnect Liaison Officer Pilbara Kay Corda comments on what the volunteers will assist with.
“Through the Follow the Dream program, the students have access to support from volunteers with a wide range of expertise. You will meet the same student every week and help them develop and grow in both their studies and life goals. You will also receive training on Aboriginal / TSI cultural awareness before commencing,” she reassures.
Kay speaks to anyone thinking of volunteering.
“There are many volunteering options for those who would like to support our students. We have roles of learning support, mentoring or tutoring. Depending on your availability, you can commit to mentoring during school hours or tutor after school hours. Our volunteers can choose if they prefer supporting primary or high school students. There is a great need for mentors across our schools and all we ask is one hour, once a week. It’s your opportunity to be the person, you needed when you were younger”.