A group of Indigenous youth on the Gold Coast have been fortunate to participate in a six week program designed to help them better prepare for their futures.
Delivered by the Gold Coast Titans, and sponsored by ETC, the Deadly Futures Program has focussed on the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, self-confidence, mental health and leadership.
“This program has been designed for students in years 8-10 and to support them with the transition to year 11 and 12 by giving them a strengthened cultural identity and connection; greater awareness of their own health; and strategies to build positive relationships with their peers to assist goal setting,” Gold Coast Titans Community Engagement Manager Renee Cohen said.
16 year old Holly Summers participated in the program last year and has recently been named the School Captain of Pacific Pines.
“Learning about culture, how to deal with stress and that leadership is something you can put into action every day are the key things I got out of the program,” Ms Summers said.
“I’m only 16 and I’ve seen some of my friends go down the wrong path. Realistically, drugs, alcohol and unemployment – they’re not things that most people want to be known for once their time is up. I think it’s all about knowing what you want your legacy to be and striving for that. It’s never too late. If you have that passion and drive and inner strength, it’s never too late to chase your dreams.”
One man very familiar with chasing his dreams is Gold Coast Titans Captain Ryan James who made a special appearance at one of the workshops to inspire the students.
“I wish programs like this existed when I was at school. I was asked to do a speech to be School Captain when I was a kid and I was just too scared to do it. Now I make speeches every day,” Mr James said.
“Just being part of this program and helping kids to be better people….it puts a smile on your face. I’m always happy to be part of something like this.”
Students from local Gold Coast high schools will be selected to participate in the program based on a nomination process. Details about the upcoming intake of the program will be communicated to schools but if you have any inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The program was made possible by $20,000 in funding from the ETC Community Support Fund.
“Without the help from ETC programs like this really struggle to get off the ground,” Mr James said.
ETC Board Chairman Rod McKelvey said it was a pleasure to be able to support the Gold Coast Titans Community Foundation with $20,000 towards the Titans Deadly Futures Program.
“The ETC Community Support Fund is designed to help organisations reduce disadvantage, generate opportunity, increase support services and/or build capacity in the communities in which we operate,” Mr McKelvey said.
“ETC is proud to be a not-for-profit company and we are confident the money we are donating to the Gold Coast Titans Community Foundation will help make a more positive future for our community.
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