Volunteer mentors sought
■ The Smith Family is calling for volunteers in the Pilbara to deliver its 2016iTrack online mentoring program to the region.
The initiative, now in its 10th year, aims to provide guidance to high school students on their post-school options.
The program pairs adult mentors with students in years 9 to 11 from schools in low socio-economic areas, who chat via a secure online chat room. Mentors provide guidance, advice and encouragement about the workplace, study and career opportunities.
The Smith Family WA general manager Lorna Woodley said more than 1500 volunteer mentors were needed by Christmas to deliver the program nationwide.
“Our iTrack program is actually one of the easiest volunteering opportunities to get involved in,” she said.
“It’s an hour a week over two school terms and because it’s online mentoring, volunteers don’t even need to leave their home or office to take part.
“If we don’t recruit enough volunteer mentors now, these students will miss out on a truly valuable experience.”
Ms Woodley said the iTrack program was an extremely rewarding experience for both local volunteers and students who took part.
“Volunteering is an opportunity to expand your skills, experience and boost your sense of wellbeing,” she said.
“No specialised skills or background are required to become an iTrack mentor; if you’re a good communicator, supportive and believe in the importance of education for young people that’s what’s most important.
“The program has achieved great success, with 87 per cent of last year’s participants saying that chatting with their mentor helped them understand more about reaching their career goals.”
The program will commence in two stages — in May and July next year — and the mentoring relationship will run for 18 weeks.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer mentor in 2016 can register now via The Smith Family’s website — thesmithfamily.com.au.
The Smith Family WA general manager Lorna Woodley is calling for volunteers in the Pilbara to deliver their 2016iTrack online mentoring program.