Your gift today can inspire our future generation! 

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I would like to share a story about Virginia, a year 8 student at one of Ardoch’s partner schools in Corio. This is a community of entrenched disadvantage near Geelong, Victoria. In Corio, like other communities of entrenched disadvantage, many families experience intergenerational poverty. This often leads to social inclusion challenges, low literacy and numeracy skills, family breakdown, mental health issues and a lack of positive adult role models. There are significant barriers faced by young people in relation to finishing their schooling and going on to further study or employment.

Virginia lives at home in a single income family. Her Mum, Toni, had a difficult upbringing with disengaged parents, leading to her running away from home when she was just 17. From this experience, Toni believes that “where you grow up shouldn’t determine how you grow up”, so she has committed to always providing the support to Virginia that she missed out on when she was a child.

Virginia recently participated in one of Ardoch’s Pathways Beyond School Programs called ‘Mock Interviews’. Pathways Beyond School was developed to help build career and educational aspirations and prepare students for life beyond school. By connecting students with positive working role models, we can break down barriers that hinder further schooling and employment. During ‘Mock Interviews’, Virginia was paired with a corporate volunteer and they worked together to practice interview techniques and build her confidence in seeking employment.

Inspired by the program, Virginia rushed home that evening and, with the support of her Mum, wrote her resume. With the confidence she gained from Mock Interviews, Virginia quickly began looking for a part time job. Soon after, she secured herself a position in a local hospitality venue and is absolutely loving it. Toni speaks openly about how they are now “encouraging her to go to University after year 12 " and working hard to “help set her up for success”.

Many young people at Ardoch’s partner schools are not as lucky as Virginia. They do not have a home environment where education is valued, or their parents are as supportive as Toni. Ardoch’s Pathways Beyond School program is building the aspirations of over 1500 children and young people in 2018. We are helping them engage in their education, connect with positive volunteer role models, learn about career and educational pathways and develop confidence and valuable life skills.

With your support this festive season, Ardoch can ensure more young people are encouraged and aspire to a brighter future. With your support, more children can realise their potential through full participation in education.

Thank you for your commitment to improving educational outcomes for children and young people in disadvantaged communities. Wishing you a safe and happy end to 2018.

Yours Sincerely,

Kylee Bates
Ardoch Chief Executive Officer

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