Local mentor program gets better with age

Monday, 26 May 2014
For six strong years the Challenger Institute of Technology Seniors Supporting Juniors program has been linking volunteer mentors with metals, construction and automotive pre-apprentices.

Local youths in the Mandurah area gain valuable learning and life experience under the guidance of retired or semi-retired tradespeople aged between 60 and 80 years.

Challenger Institute foundation and cultural studies director Kerry Bowe said the program had grown in popularity over the years, with more than 300 students completing the program since its inception.

Seniors Supporting Juniors offers a great opportunity for all participants,” Kerry said.

“It’s a chance for retirees to remain engaged in the community and it also helps young people realise their goals by benefitting from their mentors’ life and career experience.”

Retired fitter machinist Joe Kammerer, of Halls Head, joined the Seniors Supporting Juniors program in its inaugural year 2009.

Joe said the program offered active working opportunities with the students, which was both rewarding and exciting.

“I’m still very happy to be involved in this beneficial program,” he said.

“The program offers mentors an opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise, and ultimately make a valuable contribution to young people.”

Seniors Supporting Juniors is supported by the City of Mandurah and the Peel Development Commission, with Alcoa Australia providing protective clothing and equipment for mentors.

Seniors Supporting Juniors mentors Peter Worthington (Greenfields), Joe Kammerer (Halls Head) and David Hougham (Lakelands).
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