A new agreement between Challenger Institute of Technology and The Smith Family will give disadvantaged youth from Kwinana and Rockingham the opportunity to complete their schooling and receive career guidance.
The memorandum of understanding, which was signed last week, outlines Challenger Institute’s plan to support The Smith Family through a number of initiatives, including scholarships, mentoring and workplace contributions by Challenger staff.
Challenger chief executive officer Liz Harris said Challenger Institute and The Smith Family are very aligned organisations, with similar goals.
“Both organisations aim to help WA students access quality education and training, complete their courses and embark on satisfying and rewarding careers,” Ms Harris said.
Greg Ryan-Gadsden, general manager at The Smith Family said the organisation was very grateful for Challenger Institute’s generous provision of support and opportunities for WA students, particularly in the Kwinana area.
“Challenger will add significant value to our work in our communities and this new agreement will help to inspire the students’ aspirations and support them further with their education and career,” Mr Ryan-Gadsden explained.
Eighteen-year-old student Tyler Theseira receives support from The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program while studying community services at Challenger Institute. The Smith Family provide financial assistance with her tuition fees and offer support during her training.
Now Tyler is undertaking a six month work placement at The Smith Family as part of her Certificate IV in Community Services.
“As part of my work placement I’m involved with The Smith Family’s Learning Club at Leda Primary School. I spend an hour or so one-on-one with a child after school, helping with their reading and playing educational games with them,” Tyler explained.
“I like knowing that I’m helping people. When I teach them a new word or the vowels that’s a really good feeling,” she said.
Tyler said that without The Smith Family’s financial assistance and career guidance she would not have been in a position to study.
“It’s also been good to know that they are a phone call or email away,” she said.
Eventually Tyler would like to work in childcare or as a teacher’s assistant and plans to undertake further study next year.
The Smith Family is a national charity helping young Australians in need to get the most out of their education, so they can create better futures for themselves and break the cycle of disadvantage.
PHOTO CAPTION: 1. (L-R) Challenger Institute CEO Liz Harris, Tyler Theseira and The Smith Family general manager Greg Ryan-Gasden after signing the agreement.