Hieu celebrates his graduation

Graduating is a huge milestone for any student. It’s even more so for disadvantaged students, who have often had to overcome many obstacles to get there. Earlier this year, we celebrated the achievements of hundreds of Smith Family students across Australia who were graduating high school, TAFE or university.

For 17 year old Hieu, speaking at one of our six graduation events was a special moment to thank Smith Family sponsors, supporters and volunteers for helping him realise his potential.

Hieu took the opportunity to thank his sponsor, Joy, for all the emotional support and encouragement.


Hieu graduates

Hieu, sponsored student

Hieu graduates

Hieu speaks at his graduation celebration

“It was always a pleasure talking to her via mail, and the fact that she cared about my education made it all even better. Whenever I made an achievement I was happy about, next to my family – it would be Joy.

“She was always happy for me and also provided support in the stressful times,” said Hieu.

Hieu also took part in our online mentoring program iTrack. Being matched with a volunteer mentor who worked in a field Hieu was interested in gave him the opportunity to ask questions and make decisions about his career path.

 “I learned a lot. My mentor was very helpful, always friendly, and it made things easier to talk to him … I probably wouldn’t be where I am right now without that kind of exposure,” said Hieu.

“I’m grateful to him for taking the time out.”

With their education forming a strong foundation, these students now have more possibilities for the future. It’s an outcome that every Smith Family donor, sponsor and volunteer has contributed to.

“We know that a good education results in increased employment opportunities, higher incomes and greater overall life satisfaction,” said Smith Family CEO, Dr Lisa O’Brien.

I learned a lot. My mentor was very helpful, always friendly, and it made things easier to talk to him. I’m grateful to him for taking the time out.

Hieu, sponsored student

I’m so proud that The Smith Family and our supporters have been able to walk alongside these students and help them on the way to a future full of possibility.

Dr Lisa O'Brien, The Smith Family's CEO

“What these young people have been able to achieve with a strong network of support and guidance is truly inspirational and we’re incredibly proud of their results.”

So you can be part of this special event, we’re creating a video with interviews with some of the graduating students. We look forward sharing it with you.

Hear more about our students and their achievements.