The Smith Family on track

Helping disadvantaged Australian children to transform their lives through education. 

During our last grant round your donations allowed us to provide The Smith Family with a $30,000 grant to contribute to the Learning for Life suite of programs in the Geelong Region.

The Smith Family works to break the cycle of generational financial disadvantage by assisting families to ensure their children receive the best education possible. Through a better education the children will be able to get jobs and break that poverty cycle. The Smith Family’s aim is to increase school attendance rates to 90% for all students sponsored on The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program. Then work to ensure that school retention rates are increased beyond Year 10. The Smith Family aim to have all sponsored students complete a minimum level of Year 12.

The Smith Family has delivered the suite of Learning for Life programs in Geelong since 1998. The programs are targeted at children and families living in financial disadvantage. The Learning for Life program consists of a suite of programs that deliver financial support as well as personal development and personal support. In the Geelong region our Learning for Life program delivery in 2013-14 is greatly assisted by the $30,000 funding provided by Give Where You Live.

A key careers based programs is iTrack.
is an online mentoring program which focuses on the school to work transition. It aims to support and inform the students who are beginning to formulate their post-school plans by pairing them with active members of the workforce who can offer encouragement, advice and share the benefits of their experiences. Students from years 10 and 11 are matched with mentors who are sourced from corporate partnerships and they chat on line once a week for an hour. Each year we support 12 students from Northern Bay College in Corio on this program.

Evaluation reports provide evidence of the value of mentoring and results indicate positive outcomes for both students and mentors. The Smith Family’s evaluation of iTrack showed that as a result of their participation on the program, 83 per cent of students said they had a better understanding of possible career paths; 85 per cent of students indicated they were happy with how the mentor relationship worked and 77 per cent reported improved confidence about going on to further study and about asking for advice and help

“You have helped a lot and opened my mind some more with all the possibilities and options I could take – I now have a clear view of what I need to achieve my goals – thank you.” – Year 10 Northern Bay College iTrack student 2013.