Steven and The Tightrope Walk

Steven & the Tightrope Walk

Meet Steven. This is his story of how he was able overcome extreme hardship. He hopes that by sharing his story, in his words, he can help other disadvantaged children see there is hope for a better future.

Steven’s world is turned upside down as a youngster due to financial hardship. Struggling to pay the bills and with nowhere to go, Steven, along with his pregnant mother, his father and two siblings had to share a one-bedroom unit with their aunt’s family.

With very little money, Steven didn’t have the basics that he needed for school, and felt embarrassed and isolated by his situation.

Learn how support from The Smith Family helped Steven catch up at school and create new opportunities for himself.

Steven & the Tightrope Walk

Late at night, I sometimes had to study on the kitchen floor because there just wasn’t room elsewhere. I started to fall behind at school because we couldn’t afford the books or school trips - I felt so alone.


Bare essentials we often take for granted like books or stationary were hard to come by, slowly Steven started to be left behind, he felt alone and powerless.

A sponsorship from The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program helped give Steven the resources and the confidence to continue with his studies, finish Year 12 and attend university, an achievement he once didn’t think possible. He now works full-time in managerial position in the health sector.

Steven believes that The Smith Family’s support was the reason he was able to make it through school.

About Tales of the One in Six

Tales of the ‘One In Six’ is an animated web series based on the real stories of Australian children from disadvantaged backgrounds, who struggle daily with the effects of financial hardship.

The stories are drawn from the challenging but inspiring stories of children who have overcome adversity, thanks to the generosity of people like you. 

Using a simple animated style, together with elements of traditional fairy tales, these short films will draw you into the inner world of these children to reveal their stories of hardship and transformation.

Thousands of disadvantaged children are at risk

Steven is just one of the one in six1 Australian children living in poverty today.

From the moment they are born, there’s an increased risk of these children falling through the cracks. Growing up in a jobless family where basic necessities are hard to come by, means disadvantaged children miss out on early learning experiences and opportunities that other children receive. Then, when they start school they’re already behind.

Without the learning skills and support they need, they struggle to keep up. In fact, by the time they are 15, they’ll be almost 3 years behind other children in their reading ability. As the gap between them and their classmates widens their confidence erodes, their self-esteem crumbles, leaving them feeling overwhelmed, lonely and isolated.

Find out how The Smith Family is supporting disadvantaged Australian children with out-of-school education support.

Steven - Tales of the One in Ten

There are thousands of disadvantaged Australian children, just like Steven who need the life-changing, comprehensive support that a Sponsorship through The Smith Family can provide.  Find out how you can help a child like Steven fit in and catch up at school.