The STANDING TALL program matches carefully selected and trained community volunteers with at risk junior school students studying at Warrnambool and Brauer colleges, and this year now Emmanuel College and Warrnambool Special Developmental School. The volunteers have a one-on-one hour-long session every week, which can involve talking, playing cards, cooking, undertaking activities – or whatever the mentee chooses – as well as regular group sessions that focus on issues pertinent to the students involved.
Students enter the program for two years and sessions are conducted informally at the student’s school and operate at the same time every week. While mentors are only expected to participate for the one hour session per week, we find many develop ongoing supportive relationships that extend beyond the school gate and provide the mentees with a supportive adult relationship. These relationships have the potential to change lives and have provided dozens of young people with a new, positive path they may otherwise not have found.
Since its inception Standing Tall in Warrnambool has supported more than 150 students in our local community with 98% still at school or in supplementary education such as WAVE school, SWTAFE or in employment.
As the program continues to expand and reach out to more students every year, so must its fundraising efforts. As a self-funded program, sourcing information through sponsorship and donations from the local business sector, Standing Tall does not receive government funding. It relies on the generosity of individuals and businesses for support.
So, what can you do to help this great cause?
Check out the website for various options and information about becoming a mentor or sponsor: www.standingtalliw.com.au