The Smith Family has supported young people with their schooling and has helped more than 700 families during the past ten years, but says more funding is needed.RIAHN SMITH October 14, 2012 6:12am
The Smith Family has a proud history of helping those in need and to celebrate its 90th birthday it says it wants to do more.
The organisation’s Learning for Life program has been running in Shepparton for more than a decade and currently offers financial sponsorship for about 700 families.
Students are referred to the program by their school and are eligible for funding from Prep through to any tertiary studies.
The money comes from anonymous sponsors, so there is no direct contact between parties, although sponsors do receive a yearly update on how the student is faring.
In addition to financial help, students are offered a range of school-based activities such as learning clubs and reading programs.
Janet Green is a Learning for Life worker who has been with the program for five and a half years and has seen the positive effect on local students firsthand.
“I just love the job, it’s a really rewarding job, it feels like you help to make a difference,” Ms Green said.
“I think it brings a whole range of opportunities to people that they wouldn’t otherwise have.”
One opportunity in particular is the mentoring program which pairs Year 11 students with mentors in the corporate world.
“They chat with the students online once a week for 20 weeks about their aims, goals, hopes and aspirations and help them figure out where they want to go and how to get there,” Ms Green said.
“Its a great opportunity for them and were always really keen for people to help out in any way they can.”
For Ms Green, the most satisfying part of her job is receiving feedback from the students and families.
“We have students that have gone through the whole scholarship and are now talking about becoming sponsors or helping the Smith Family in some other way,’’ she said.
“They’re trying to work out what they can do to give back.”
Smith Family chief executive Dr Lisa O’Brien said improving the educational performance of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds was at the heart of the organisation’s work and called for more support for their efforts.
“We need to harness the time, talent and dollars of individual supporters, businesses, key philanthropists and governments to support our work with children, their families and the communities in which they live,” Dr OBrien said.
“In five years’ time we will be able to look back and know that, together, we have made a far greater impact on kids in need in Australia.”
Greater Shepparton Deputy Mayor Fern Summer quits nursing job to run as an independent at July's Federal Election.
Three Yarrawonga footballers have excelled at interleague level, representing the Ovens and Murray against Hampden in Warrnambool on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
ONE in seven people aged 50 and older have some evidence of macular degeneration, according to Echuca optometrist Andrew Knight.
TONY Spizzica doesn’t like to talk about himself.
Kyabram Football Club will host a family day next weekend.
Where there’s a Will, there’s a way
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
PYALONG Primary School junior students were treated to a special behind-the-scenes look at Seymour Woolworths last week.
Arriving early at school just got a little sweeter for Barooga Public School students, with the recent introduction of a breakfast program.
Plans for the release of a carp herpes virus has captured the attention of international press.
Farmers from northern Victoria will join a protest rally over milk prices in Melbourne tomorrow, Wednesday.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.