Living in Harmony
Assisting young students identified as being at risk of leaving school, usually due to having displayed anti-social behaviour, is one area of significant need.
Supporting students to develop strong ties to each other and to the community at large has been one strategy for overcoming many of the obstacles faced by such students. In these programs the participants are encouraged to become involved in community outreach programs. One example was organising a food drive for local homeless people, another helping out at a women’s crisis refuge.
These opportunities help the participants to develop skills and confidence in themselves and create positive relationships with the people around them.
Migrant, refugee and newly-arrived students are also helped to develop employability skills. Using interactive and fun activities, the JobQuest team help the participants develop their communication skills and engage in ongoing relationships with peers in order to build self confidence and plan for a positive future as an adult.
Naazim, was identified by his school as being a ‘troubled’ student but instead of allowing that label to damage his future he sought help through JobQuest. Early on it became obvious to the JobQuest staff that Naazim was looked up to by the other young boys in his peer network. Helping Naazim to harness his potential leadership skills became a goal and taking a leading role in all the group’s activities saw him turn his behaviour around and engage fully in the opportunities on offer.
Community, heritage and connectedness are important features to building more cohesive and inclusive communities.
These programs are often found in areas with significant growth or with emerging or changing communities including new or expanding cultural groups.
Western and South Western Sydney and the Hunter are major areas targeted.
“Seeing them at the start, and then how they’ve come out of the program – their confidence has grown so much.
Learning how to set and achieve goals is really powerful for these kids.” - Sabrina
One of these was the FRUIT Day (Fun, Realistic, Unbiased, Industry, Teaching).
This day enabled Naazim and his peers to gather information about education and training opportunities from a range of sources to assist them to make informed choices about the opportunities they might take advantage of in planning their futures.
“Learning to establish a relationship with a consultant – letting us into their lives... Breaking through those barriers is really important.” - Jenny