The ‘Make Your Mark’ mentoring program was run at the Chifley College Mount Druitt Campus in terms 3 & 4. The program included school based and out of school activities such as work experience, TAFE taster, University tour, outdoor & indoor physical activities, volunteering and topical discussion on relevant issues young people face. The Program had sixteen mentees from year 9 & 10 students.
The program was targeted towards disengaged male youth aged between 14 & 15 years who have been suspended from school and/or are a returnee from juvenile detention. It ran weekly on Tuesdays from 8:30am – 2:30pm.
The mentees have shown increase in confidence and self-expression. They were more open to share their personal challenges and seek help. They were also very optimistic about the future and the opportunities that lays ahead.
Our goal was to encourage and add value to young people by helping them develop essential skills as they work on the project they have selected. Mentees and mentors meet at school weekly on Fridays between 8:30am – 10am during school terms to work on the projects. The program had sixteen mentees from year 9 & 10 students. Along the way they have had interesting sessions that focused on life challenges and resilience.
The program also had excursions such as NSW Parliament tour, University & TAFE tours, cultural exchange sessions and other workshops that exposed them to diverse learning opportunities. The mentees felt a sense of accomplishment as they witnessed the completion of their projects. Through this process they have developed teamwork, communication, listening, reflection and organisation skills.
GIRL SKILS is a collaboration of Mount Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency (MECA), Chifley College Mount Druitt and Creative Training & Coaching. The program was a 10 week program which worked with young women from a refugee background, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander and Pacific Islander young women between the ages of 14-16, living in Mount Druitt.
In particular the program supported young people who may have demonstrated difficulty with settlement, experienced social isolation or expressed feelings of exclusion. The young women are provided with education and mentoring that focused on the development of social and emotional literacy by enhancing key social and emotional skills.
By providing a safe environment and using a research backed behavioural approach the program the development of ‘soft’ interpersonal skills has enabled program attendees to improve their communication skills, interpersonal problem-solving skills, negotiation skills and their ability to deescalate volatile situations.
This year we ran our fist Girls Skills Alumni event – we had a half day leadership session with approximately 50 of the young women who have participated in the program. Some of the girls came over from Year 11 to meet the new participants. We aim to continue adding to our Alumni and growing a community in Mount Druitt of young women who see the potential in their inherent strengths and capabilities and use these for positive outcomes.