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Bailey's high hopes for his future

Bailey with his mum

Proud Mum, Terina, says having confidence in his educational achievements, enabled through the support of the Learning for Life program, has helped Bailey to develop his confidence and she's thrilled with the progress he's made. She says towards the end of primary school, Bailey's enthusiasm for school and learning had waned but since starting high school, his attitude has changed, putting it down to the return of his self-confidence. "He has been excited; he has been doing his homework and has got the whole motivation thing happening again, which is great to see. I can see that he is prepared to learn and he is much happier within himself."

He's also developing a passion for technology subjects and music, excelling in his Industrial Technology and Design subject. Describing himself as a hands-on person, he is still aiming to become a mechanic and knows he'll have to work hard to achieve that goal.

[The kids] called me retarded and said that I was homeless and stuff, but it's not true. It made me feel gutted and sad but...I just don't worry about it too much. It made me feel left out because I felt a lot different...but now I'm starting to fit in.

Bailey had been struggling with many of his subjects and was identified as being two years behind in his reading. "It was really awful. I couldn't really read the words properly and I always got stuck and couldn't really make full sentences. In class we had to read a paragraph of information. I used to say I couldn't really read it and I felt embarrassed. And then, with my homework, I had to ask Mum and Dad to read it out for me," Bailey said.

Bailey's Mum, Terina says she felt overwhelmed and anxious after her husband lost his job. With the income from her job at an aged care centre barely covering the mortgage repayments, she feared their three children were going to miss out and fall behind at school because of the family's financial circumstances.

Through the Learning for Life program and the generosity of his sponsor, Bailey's family has had the financial assistance they need to ensure he has the uniform, shoes, books and equipment to fit in and participate in school life.

Through the support of his Learning for Life Program Coordinator, Bailey's been able to participate in Smith Family learning support programs such as student2student, a reading program. This support has helped him to make a smooth transition to high school where he has flourished academically and socially, developing a wide range of interests, including scouts and guitar.

It made a tremendous difference. Every year the school sends you a bill to say this is what we estimate it will cost your child to be here for the year with, you know, excursions and everything. I took that money straight in and paid it off.
Terina - Bailey's Mum

But with the progress he's making, it doesn't seem like it will be a problem. At the start of the year, Bailey had some firm goals in place to ensure his success at his new school: "As or Bs in all of my subjects," he said confidently. And we're pleased to say Bailey has achieved just that. He received As and Bs for effort in all his subjects, something he says makes him feel "proud" and something that we're most certainly proud of too.

The above interview was conducted four years ago. We’ve since met up with Bailey as a 16 year old to see how he is progressing. Read how well Bailey is doing now.

As or Bs in all of my subjects.

When we first met Bailey, he was a shy, hesitant boy but polite and well spoken. And while he is still polite and well spoken, the shy and hesitant part has most certainly changed, with the thirteen-year-old growing into a confident young man.

The second of three boys, Bailey has been part of The Smith Family's Learning for Life program for the past four years. The family was referred to The Smith Family after Dad, John lost his job as a landscape foreman. The financial struggle the family was experiencing put Bailey in the spotlight at school. He was picked on and felt isolated from his peers.

Close up photo of Bailey standing

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