2020 was one like no other we have experienced. The year saw young people some of the hardest hit by the impact of the pandemic and, as such, we responded promptly to serve those in need. We supported 2,344 young people through our personal leadership programs, graduate engagement, Thrive Online and other services.
2019 marked our 22nd year of operation and, in partnership with the community, we are proud to report we saw 728 inspiring young people, from 45 programs, across 23 schools, graduate from our Personal Leadership Program. Since our inception, our organisation has graduated over 13,300 young South Australians who are now positively contributing to our great state!
The support we received in 2018 meant we were able to engage with 2,034 young people through our programs and services. This includes 824 graduates from our Personal Leadership Program, up from 631 the year before. This represents the largest graduate numbers in recent years, and largest exponential growth in a single year. Our program outcomes confirmed truly exceptional progress in the wellbeing of our graduates, with the number of graduates at high risk of developing a mental health disorder dropping by a staggering 52.1% after completing the Personal Leadership Program. We also recorded substantial increases in happiness and optimism in our graduates.
2017 marked the 20th anniversary of Youth Opportunities and I am so pleased we achieved some of the biggest milestones to date. I would like to thank our Chief Executive, Peter Carey, the Youth Opportunities Board and team, and our valued supporters on a truly incredible year.
2016 – what a year for Youth Opportunities! Congratulations to our Chief Executive Peter Carey, the Youth Opportunities team and Board and our valued supporters on a successful year that included many highlights. The number of schools we partner with continued to grow in 2016, with Playford International College and Christies Beach High School both introducing the Positive Empowerment Program for the first time and Wirreanda Secondary School coming back on board. Thirty-eight programs were run throughout the year with 544 students graduating.