Mathias gives students the support they need

Mathias works in one of our most disadvantaged communities. As a Learning for Life Coordinator, he connects disadvantaged students with the ongoing support they need to make the most of their education.

“School teachers refer students to me when they sense something’s up. For example, if a student can’t afford to go on an excursion, or he can’t do his homework because there’s no internet at home, or he’s always going hungry at morning tea time, I get a call,” says Mathias.

Disadvantaged students often start school already behind. Often their parents aren’t able to help them with their homework and they don’t have access to role models who can help them build aspirations. By the time these students reach Years 9 and 10, they may have disengaged with their learning and be at risk of dropping out early.

Mathias, Learning for Life Coordinator

Mathias, Learning for Life Coordinator

Mathias, Learning for Life Coordinator

Mathias, Learning for Life Coordinator

Our online mentoring program iTrack is for students in Years 9 to 11. Students are matched with a supportive adult mentor who gives them valuable guidance about study, workplace and career opportunities. Mathias sees first-hand how this can transform a student’s attitude towards their education.

“Recently we had our first iTrack. One student said, ‘I got into iTrack because I wanted to get out of class,’” said Mathias.

“[Afterwards] he actually said, ‘I really didn't want to do iTrack, but after having done it for so many weeks I really enjoyed it and I've learnt a lot from my mentor.’”

Having the opportunity to talk to an adult other than a teacher or parent also helps students understand the greater possibilities available to them. Last year, 87% of participating students said their mentor helped them plan for their future.

“After talking to his mentor this student’s now convinced that he can do engineering. Initially he didn't want to do engineering because he believed it was too hard, but the mentor told him pathways of getting there.

“It's not always university, you can go through TAFE. So he is now focused on continuing with maths.”

Thanks to your support, our Learning for Life Coordinators can make sure disadvantaged students receive vital program support to help them realise their potential. We simply couldn’t do all that without you!

Find out more about our learning programs.

If a student can’t afford to go on an excursion, or he can’t do his homework because there’s no internet at home, or he’s always going hungry at morning tea time, I get a call.

Mathias, Learning for Life Coordinator