Melissa has the confidence to achieve her dreams

For a long time, Melissa struggled at school. She remembers other kids bullying her because her family was poor. Her dad worked as a night security guard and that meant he had to sleep during the day. She didn't get to see him as much as she would have liked. Before she joined Learning for Life, Melissa found it hard to cope and lacked the confidence to stand up for herself.

"After I started being sponsored, school became easier because I knew there was someone else supporting me outside my family. Just knowing someone was there offering support gave me confidence.

Melissa Learning Club volunteer

Melissa, sponsored student

"I loved being able to communicate with my sponsor. It's hard to describe but just knowing that someone is willing to communicate with you and willing to help you, it really is just a great feeling."

Access to our mentoring program, iTrack, was another crucial element of sponsorship support for Melissa. Like many students from disadvantaged backgrounds, she had no-one to turn to for advice about university and career pathways.


"I talked to my iTrack mentor about what I needed to do to become a teacher and go to uni. She provided extra resources that my parents couldn't because they hadn't completed school or gone to university."

Targeted support through sponsorship helps disadvantaged students make a smooth transition from school to work or higher education and training, creating a lasting impact on their future and increasing their chances of improved employment, health and overall life outcomes.

School became easier because I knew there was someone else supporting me outside my family.

Melissa, sponsored student

My proudest moment was when I got my acceptance letter into uni because it just made it seem all worth it. Everything that I had gone through, everything was finally falling into place.

Melissa, sponsored student

"I am not sure if I would have gone to uni without the sponsorship help. I probably would have given up on my dream. Having a sponsor makes a huge difference. It wasn't until someone I didn't know helped me that I started believing I could go to uni."

Melissa is currently studying a Masters of Teaching. She volunteers with a Smith Family Learning Club and is passionate about helping disadvantaged students get through school.

84.2% of Learning for Life students who left in Years 10–12 were engaged in work and/or study 12 months after leaving the program.

Hear from more of our sponsored students.