Meet our sponsored students

Abdul's Story

Abdul was part of The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program for two years and credits the support with helping him graduate recently with an Advanced Diploma of Accounting and secure an accounting position with a major firm. His younger siblings continue to receive Learning for Life support.

The financial support from the Learning for Life program helped me and my family in so many ways. Importantly, it helped to cover my course fees, which I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford. I wouldn’t have been able to study at all without the help.

The program gave me courage and faith that my brothers and sisters and I are accessing the same educational opportunities as every other kid. The financial support helps my parents to purchase school items that may otherwise be too expensive to afford. It personally allowed me to focus on my study without stressing about finances.

The best thing about being in the Learning for Life program is the support, encouragement and opportunities that are given to those who may not be able to afford their study expenses; to have that hope that everything is going to be fine.

All I had to do was prove to myself that with the financial help I could be successful and be the person I had dreamed of being.

Now that I have proudly graduated with an Advanced Diploma of Accounting, I will work for a few years to support my family and then I’d love to go to University and get a degree to qualify as an accountant. I am very grateful for my success, so I will try and give all the support I can to my parents to now help my siblings achieve their future goals.”

Case study photo of student Abdul

Abdul, Learning for Life student

Bailey's story

Bailey standing with his backpack

"Now it’s much better in class. I don’t get stuck and I can read out loud properly. And no one actually laughs at me.” Bailey

Bailey's story

Bailey remembers well the feeling of panic that would overtake him when his teacher asked him to read aloud in class. “It was really awful. I couldn’t read the words properly and I always got stuck and couldn’t make full sentences. I used to say I couldn’t really read and I felt embarrassed.”

Over the last two years, Bailey has gained confidence and been able to catch up on his reading skills by participating in student2student, our reading buddies program. Bailey would read over the phone three times a week to his trained volunteer student buddy.

Bailey wanted to do his best and being able to learn from someone who was closer to his own age took the pressure off. “My favourite part was reading to other people that I didn’t really know. It was exciting because I was actually getting help to learn how to read.”

His mother, Terina, is amazed at how much the program has helped Bailey: He just felt so special because it was his time and it was for him. It gave him a lot of confidence too, being able to speak to someone who was a stranger. He got so much out of that mateship. They looked after him and praised him all the time.”

Bailey’s confidence has grown so much from reading with a peer, that he now enjoys reading with his dad and at school.

Crystal's story

It's been a year of ups and downs for Crystal as she navigates the tricky teenage years. But her dedication to her studies has set her on the right track to achieving her goals.

For Crystal and her family, sponsorship through The Smith Family came as a much needed lifeline. Ralph and Delore, Crystal's grandparents, found themselves as primary caregivers to the youngster 11 years ago, at a time when they were just starting to think about retirement. Both on aged pensions, providing for Crystal and her brother Nathan was tough. As the students got older, the financial pressure intensified with school expenses increasing. The family was referred to The Smith Family four years ago and Crystal, now 15, and Nathan, now 13, started receiving sponsorship.

For less than $1.60 a day, you can give a disadvantaged Australian child the school essentials they need to fit in and get ahead.