Year nine student Jack is kicking goals on the education field. This year, he welcomed yet another fan to barrack for his success; he was matched with an iTrack mentor.
“It was fun chatting to my mentor and talking about how my week was. We talk a lot about stuff I could do when I finish school. He has helped me decide what I want to do.” – Jack.
The Smith Family’s iTrack is an online mentoring program that provides guidance to high school students on their post school options. The program pairs mentors with students in Years 9 to 11* via a secure online chat-room for an hour each week over two terms. The anonymous adult mentors help the students to identify their strengths, and provide guidance, advice and encouragement about workplace, study and career opportunities. Mentors come from many backgrounds, from trades to corporate environments, and cover all ages.
In South Australia, 142 students in eleven schools participated in 2015. iTrack is a proven success for students, last year’s review showed:
• 88% said their mentor had helped them to be more positive about future career and study options
• 87% agree that chatting with their mentor helped them understand more about reaching their career goals
• 80% of students want to try harder at school
• 81% of students have been inspired to go onto further study
• 78% of students feel more confident in asking for advice or help from other adults
In addition to being an iTrack student, Jack is also a Learning for Life scholarship student. This means that, somewhere in Australia, he has a Smith Family Sponsor** who provides financial assistance to make it easier for Jack’s family to pay for school expenses. In return Jack sends an update on how he’s going at school and in life every year.
“We have been so blessed with the support from the Smith Family, not just financially but also the programs he has been given the opportunity to participate in and truly believe his academic results reflect this. He continues to leap over the bar we set him, much to our continued amazement and we are so proud of him.” – Kathryn, Jack’s mother.
If you would like a bit more support at school, please ask Gabbi, Teresa or Kadri in the Wellbeing Centre for more about which of The Smith Family’s programs are available to you at Wirreanda Secondary School.
* iTrack may also be available to some year 12s
**Sponsors can only be matched with students who are on a Health Care on Pension Concession card (their own or their family’s). Referrals must be made by the school and younger year levels are prioritised to ensure long term support is achieved.
Family Partnership Coordinator – Learning for Life | The Smith Family