An important message from our Chief Executive, Erin Faehrmann

19 August 2020 / Uncategorised

When I wrote to you in the last newsletter, I spoke about the impact of COVID-19 on our fundraising events, but most importantly, its effect on how we serve young people who desperately need our programs and services. Because of your support, we successfully delivered a blended model of online learning and face-to-face sessions via Zoom during Term 2 to students across six schools in SA. A first for Youth Opportunities!

I am also hoping that you, our wonderful supporters, are keeping well during these challenging times. I know that the impact of COVID-19 is far reaching and, while restrictions have not been fully lifted yet, Black Dog Institute have provided some tips on how to adjust to the ‘new normal’ and take care of your wellbeing, which you may find useful. 

As you may know, our programs at Youth Opportunities are centred around our ‘Four Big Decisions’, and our intention each newsletter this year is to focus on one of them and share with you some of the tools we give young people to help them become personal leaders. Our theme for this newsletter is centred around, ‘Decide to Goal Plan’. Setting goals for the future and breaking them down into achievable steps is key to success.

COVID-19 definitely impacted our organisation’s goal planning, with many of our goals having to change as a result. Ask yourself the question, have your goals changed since COVID-19? If so, what are your new goals for the rest of the year, and how will you take steps, some might be baby steps and some might be big leaps, to achieve them?  

In our Personal Leadership Programs, we encourage students to goal plan, setting them up for success in the future. In one of the activities, we ask young people to write a pledge about something that they will hold themselves to in the future. 

One of our amazing graduates who completed our program five years ago shared with us his reflection on his experience, but also an awesome pledge recently, and it was too inspirational not to share!

“Since after finishing the YO program, I’ve been focusing a lot more on the personal development side of myself. Reflecting back to those days, I am convinced that taking on the opportunity to do the program was the best investment that I have ever taken on in my life so far. I would say that it has pretty much completely helped me change my mindset and perspective on life for the better. When I do become who I want to be in the future, I’ve pledged to myself that I will donate a minimum of a million dollars to YO as it has helped me enormously by sparking the engine to a more purposeful and meaningful life”

While we are definitely not holding our kindhearted graduate to their pledge of a one-million-dollar donation, we are beyond grateful that they see the value of our programs!

I would love to acknowledge all of the generous individuals, corporates, community groups and trusts and foundations that have supported us in recent months. Your incredible generosity came at a crucial time for us. A special shout out to Kennards Hire Foundation, Australian Executive Trustees, Perks Foundation, Westpac Foundation and the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal for your generous support. One of the articles below also features all the wonderful companies and people who have provided in kind or probono support in recent months, so thank you to them as well.

I would also love to acknowledge Living Choice Australia, one of our long-term supporters, who donated $100,000 to us recently, taking the combined contributions of Living Choice and the directors’ second company, EDP Hotels, to more than $2 million over the years – that is more than 2,000 young South Australians who have been given the opportunity to participate in our Personal Leadership Programs. You can find out more about Living Choice and its exciting new development, South Australia’s first fully integrated golf course retirement community, here

Hopefully, we will see some of you at our graduations in the future, where we can celebrate young people’s amazing results together, something that you continue to make possible. 

Warmest regards

Erin Faehrmann, Chief Executive


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