In an amazing show of community spirit The Pilbara Mentors, an initiative of the Roy Hill Community Foundation delivered by EdConnect Australia, recently announced their Pilbara Mentor of the Year 2021.
Leanne Ruston, a local Port Hedland resident was celebrated at an awards ceremony on Wednesday 27th October at the Gateway Village. The Pilbara Mentors program trains and supports volunteers to work in local schools, providing a safety net for young people who might otherwise struggle to realise their potential – in school and life.
Kay Corda, EdConnect Australia Pilbara Liaison Officer comments on why Leanne was awarded the title.
“Leanne has been one of our longest standing mentors and truly deserves the award. She started mentoring in 2017 when the program first commenced in Hedland. She’s kind, caring and I’m sure her students will agree, brings out the best in each of them. Leanne also does a lot of other volunteering roles within the community. Pilbara Mentors is just one of the hats she wears, fabulously of course,” she exclaims.
“EdConnect Australia are so proud to have a committed presence in the Pilbara region. The program is delivered by EdConnect Australia, in partnership with the Roy Hill Community Foundation a charity made up of 13 companies who all contribute funding and participate in the programs,” she explained.
Leanne’s first student through the program Jesse Thompson, tells of how Leanne was able to connect him to a wider support system.
“[Leanne] definitely brightened me up, helped me to find myself and I’m still here at high school and haven’t dropped out. She helped me find a way at the start, because I didn’t know who to go to. She connected me with other people who were able to help me as well,” he said.
Jeanette Hasleby, Director of the Roy Hill Community Foundation speaks about the importance of the program support for the Foundation.
“Mentors can be that important person outside family and friends that a child or young person can talk to and relate to,” she said.
She urged potential mentors to find the one hour a week to join the program.
EdConnect Australia is calling for new volunteers to commence in the 2022 school year, for more information visit www.edconnectaustralia.org.au, contact email@example.com or call 1800 668 550.