It takes a village
Raise Foundation, the youth mentoring foundation that’s helping young Australians feel heard, valued and supported.
Having experienced challenges as a teenager, Vicki Condon knew the value of having an adult she could turn to. But it wasn’t until later in life, with the suicide of a family friend’s son, that she decided to set up youth mentoring charity, Raise Foundation.
“We run best practice mentoring in schools for young people at risk of disengaging,” says Vicki, CEO, Raise Foundation. “Our key difference is helping young people learn to have face-to-face relationships with adults they can trust.”
At the same time each week, for six months, mentors meet mentees at school to tackle the big issues they face. The programme mixes group activities with one-on-one sessions. The individual sessions are led by mentees so they can discuss whatever is on their mind. Afterwards, Raise comprehensively evaluates the impact of the programmes.
“We see statistically significant improvement,” says Vicki. “Most mentees are more comfortable asking a trusted adult for help, feel more employable and hopeful about their future, and are looking to complete Year 12. It builds resilience with mental health issues, as well as confidence and communication skills.”
Mentors receive 12 hours of industry-leading training, and since 2008, around 4,000 volunteers have mentored around 5,400 young people. “We’re up-skilling adults, too, to be better listeners and contribute to thriving communities more broadly.”
- One in ten young Australians are disengaged from education and training
- One in four are struggling with their mental health.
- Suicide is the leading cause of death in young Australians
- Mentoring helps young people, particularly at-risk youth, to succeed in school, work and life
- Raise provides individual support from a trained mentor to help young people navigate their issues.
Since 2013, the Goodman Foundation has partnered with Raise in three ways: cash grants, Goodman people as mentors and CEO-to-CEO mentoring between Vicki and Jo Cameron, Goodman Foundation CEO.
This year, Raise developed an ambitious strategy and Goodman has invested more to help. “We believe everyone can benefit from a mentor, so we want to offer our programme at every public secondary school in Australia, raising it from 1,000 mentees to 15,000,” says Vicki.
Raise believe it takes a village to raise a child and the Goodman Foundation is proud to take part. “Goodman is always prepared to listen, ask what we’re trying to achieve, and test innovative ideas with us,” says Vicki. “They don’t just give us funding or volunteers; they’re part of our community. Goodman is an important part of our village.”
Since 2008, around 4,000 Raise volunteers have mentored around 5,400 young people.