More young people in need will be given the tools to build their own future after TRACTION, a community-based youth mentoring program in South East Queensland, received a hand up to expand their reach.
The organisation recently received a $15,000 grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, to engage a specialist to guide the development of their long-term strategy, business plan and governance program, positioning them to grow to meet the needs of the community into the future.
TRACTION Founder and Program Director Sandy Murdoch said the funding couldn’t have come at a better time.
“This grant will allow us to take that next step – to take our program further and to be sustainable in the long-term, so more vulnerable young people are empowered to create their own powerful futures,” Sandy said.
“Since launching the program in 2015, 700 young people aged 12-15 have graduated from TRACTION, leaving with a new sense of purpose and confidence, that if they put their mind to something, they can achieve it,” he said.
Delivering its programs at Alexandra Hills, Moorooka, Inala, Logan and Beaudesert, TRACTION works with schools and other agencies to identify and re-engage youngsters that are not excelling in the classroom – equipping them with lifelong skills. By attending TRACTION one day a week for an entire school term, students can undertake projects like restoring an old bike with the help of a mentor, as part of the Bicycle Build Program. Many of the participants come from disadvantaged backgrounds, may be experiencing insecure housing, have a disability or could have been in the youth justice system.
“Seeing the transformation in these young people is by far the best part – seeing them come to the realisation that they have potential. Their behaviour changes and their teachers see an improvement in rates, effort and engagement at school, as a result our program,” he said.
“They are resilient kids who need to be given a chance. We are grateful to Hand Heart Pocket for believing in what we do.”
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said initiatives that empower young people in necessitous circumstances to lead more independent lives aligns with his organisation’s purpose.
“Providing funding and financial assistance for education and training initiatives for young people in need, forms part of our long-term strategy,” Gary said.
“Early intervention programs that allow vulnerable youth to develop life skills, instead of slipping through the cracks provides them with a hand up through sustainable support,” Gary said.
“We are excited about the life-changing impacts that this partnership will bring for young people in need over the years to come,” he said.
Photo: Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark with TRACTION Founder and Program Director Sandy Murdoch and TRACTION Development Manager Mark Van Den Boogaart.
10 December 2018