My Smith Family
iTrack provides students with someone to talk to outside of their networks who can give them advice and encourage them with their post-school plans.
Many young people disengage from their education and drop out of school during their teenage years. The impact of growing up in disadvantage creates barriers that can make it even more difficult to see the benefit of completing Year 12.
Leaving school early also affects the work choices available to young people. Many disadvantaged students lack access to positive role models and mentors who can support their expectations, build aspirations for the future and learn how to reach their career goals.
Many young people disengage from their education and drop out of school during their teenage years. The impact of growing up in disadvantage creates barriers that can make it even more difficult to see the benefit of completing Year 12. Leaving school early also affects the work choices available to young people. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds sometimes have a more limited network of people to talk to about career opportunities.
iTrack is an online mentoring program for high school students in Years 9 to 11. Students are matched with a supportive adult (other than a teacher or parent) who volunteers as a mentor and provides the student with general encouragement and advice and guidance about workplace, study and career opportunities. Students and mentors communicate over an 18 week period.
Volunteer mentors are drawn from our network of corporate and community partners. All mentors are screened, inducted and then matched with a student, where possible according to the student’s career aspirations.
The purpose of the relationship established through iTrack is to offer encouragement, and for mentors to share the benefit of their own study and workplace experience.
Last year, 88% of the students who participated in iTrack said that their mentor has helped them to be more positive about their future career and study options.
Jordan participated in iTrack and found that it gave her a more clear idea of what she wants to do after finishing school, and how to get there. “I was quite surprised about all the things that I got out of working in iTrack. I’ve learnt all these different options that I can take in the future,” said Jordan. “If I could actually see my mentor I would thank him so much for everything that he’s helped me with. He’s helped me with some really big decisions in my life.”
“It was really fun, and helpful. The more I talked to my mentor the more I was able to build my confidence in what I wanted to do for my career.”
“I enjoyed learning new things my mentor told me. She taught me things that I didn’t know (which was really useful), she encouraged me to be more confident, and she's one of the best mentors ever.”
“My student was lacking in overall confidence and was quite introverted in his discussions. I felt he gained a fair bit from the experience, more so in being able to speak to somebody outside his family situation.”
“I really enjoy the interaction of chatting online and the vibrancy of my mentees. I get a great deal of satisfaction in participating in iTrack. I feel that I am doing something useful.”
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