Sponsorship gave Lachlan a clear goal

Everything shifted for 15-year-old Lachlan when his parents split up. His mum, Lynette, was raising four children on her own and Lachlan’s older sister had ongoing health issues. It was a really hard time for the whole family – and that’s when Lynette turned to The Smith Family.

“Financially, things were quite tough,” Lynette said. “Especially getting the kids to school, with uniforms, books, and all that goes with it. It wasn't the easiest.

“So I got put in contact with The Smith Family and we got onto the Learning for Life sponsorship program. It made a big difference!

“Without sponsorship I would have struggled with school fees and school uniforms. School books are expensive every year for each kid!”

Having school essentials really helped Lachlan keep up at school but the sponsorship support didn’t stop there. By Year 10 he had trouble choosing his subjects and was struggling to decide on a career path for his future. He needed more guidance than Lynette was able to give him.

Thanks to sponsorship, Lachlan was able to take part in our online mentoring program iTrack. It’s where students in Years 9 to 11 receive personalised advice about study and career options from trained volunteer mentors. For Lachlan, the program couldn’t have come at a better time.

“The experience I had with iTrack was very helpful. We discussed what sort of careers I wanted to pursue and what they would entail,” said Lachlan.

“My mentor helped me to figure out the things I really wanted to do.

“I am interested in civil or mechanical engineering but since talking to my mentor I think that I would really like to become a carpenter or builder.”

Lachlan (far right) with his family

Research shows that completing Year 12 (or equivalent) increases a young person’s likelihood of continuing their studies, and finding employment.

It also leads to higher annual earnings for individuals, greater community involvement and economic benefits for our country as a whole.1

Having an aspiration for the future can be a key motivator for continuing with school. That’s why learning programs like iTrack are so important. And Lynette is so grateful to sponsors like you who are helping her children to get the most out of their education.

“Education is the foundation that they're going to build on for the rest of their lives. If my kids get a solid grounding now, then it's a great platform to move forward as they go into their adult years.”

“With The Smith Family, the kids have people that they can turn to for support. The learning programs help them to focus on their studies and guide them through some of life's challenges.”

1. Access Economics 2005, The economic benefit of increased participation in education and training. Dusseldorp Skills Forum and Business Council of Australia, Sydney.