Newsletter for the Rotary Club of Western Endeavour - Issue No.: 820 Issue Date: 19 Aug, 2018

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The Smith Family - iTrack mentoring

Huia McGlinchey from the Smith Family presented an overview of the services provided as they work to break the cycle of disadvantage through education support.

The learning for life program provides financial support, assists the students connect with other learning opportunities/supports and access to Smith Family education programs from early school years to tertiary level.

The Smith Family partners with schools to achieve the long term outcomes of engagement, advancement and attendance.  The iTrack online mentoring is a tool that provides support for achieving these outcomes.

iTrack is one-on-one mentoring between students in year 9 to 11 with a mentor. The sessions run weekly for an hour to assist students to explore post school plans. This allows an understanding of what subjects are required to support these goals, improve and broaden their aspirations and increase their confidence levels.

The mentoring is anonymous with only first names used and transcripts of the mentoring sessions are reviewed by the Smith Family after each session to ensure mentors and students are adhering to the guidelines. Mentors are encouraged to share their own experiences in study and workplace.

The program helps provide positive role models for disadvantage students and to try to avoid students disengaging and dropping out of school and feedback from mentees and mentors has been very positive with mentors often volunteering again.

Author: Donna Thornton

Published: 27 January, 2018


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