Youth Opportunities proudly partnered with UniSA’s Communication and Media Clinic Program, a work integrated learning initiative with undergraduate Communication and Media students. Thank you to our UniSA students who provided us with content from our valued stakeholders.
Special thanks to Kai Muller for writing the following article.
Paul Monaghan has been a teacher at Woodville High School since 2002 and has served as the school-based Youth Opportunities coordinator since 2019. With Woodville High School running the Personal Leadership Program for nearly 20 years, Paul has witnessed first-hand the positive impact that the program has had on his students.
Even though he has been teaching for a long time, Paul still thinks it is one of the most rewarding jobs out there. “One of the most rewarding things about teaching is making a difference in young people’s lives and having a positive impact on their growth and futures,” said Paul.
He touched on the shared challenges that many of his students have faced in their learning journey.
“Many students struggle with their self-confidence, even the ones that don’t particularly make it evident. They can also struggle with their organisational and motivation skills, and their relationships with their peers.”
Paul fondly remembers when the Youth Opportunities programs were first introduced, and the excitement that he and other teachers felt. Paul thought the program was unique and innovative and was happy that the program wasn’t being targeted at certain types of students.
Whilst Paul has only been the Youth Opportunities coordinator for Woodville High School for just over two years, his previous and current experiences with the program were always positive.
“It’s clear that we are all working together towards a common goal for the benefit of young people. It’s such an easy program to recommend to students and families because of all of its benefits!”
There were various changes Paul noticed in his students after they had participated in the personal Leadership Program, but the biggest standout to him was the improved confidence and communication skills, leading to better relationships with other students and teachers.
Paul found one of the biggest positives of the Personal Leadership Program was the trainers’ tailoring to the specific needs of specific students. “The trainers know that not all students need to work on the same elements, and they are excellent at figuring out the guidance that each student[LJ1] needs.”
“I’ve talked to many students about the program, and they have all had positive things to say about it once they’ve finished. The graduations really are a fantastic experience to see everything all come to life!”
He also thought that program graduates had a clearer direction for their future.
“There is generally a clear difference in students, ranging from their confidence, behaviour, motivation and relationships.”
Paul glowingly recommends the Personal Leadership Program to other schools, stating that the benefits are far-reaching, but that the improved mental health and communication of the participating students was the most impressive element.