When I reflect on this year, and its challenges, I am grateful for the strong community we have in SA.
Because of our supporters, we have been able to step up and reach young people when they needed us most, at a time when many organisations were having to shut their doors, or stop their services.
However, our job is not nearly over. A fact that has became all too clear for us, as we head into the end of this year.
Which is why, today, I am asking if you will consider donating to Youth Opportunities.
I want you to take a moment, if you have time, to imagine you are a Youth Opportunities trainer.
You step into a room full of young people who see our program as an opportunity to leave their past behind, and create a future where they can finally thrive.
Your role is to interview them, before determining if they can be offered a place in our Personal Leadership Program.
One by one, they come forward.
Not one, but three of these young people tell you they experience domestic violence. Another has no permanent address, as she moves between extended family, after losing both of her parents just a year apart from one another. A 15-year-old boy shares he is experiencing significant anger issues. He desperately wants to change, but knows he cannot do it alone.
The remaining students share similar challenges – anxiety, depression, lack of self-confidence, lack of direction, a fear for their future.
You deem that each one of these young people is worthy of a place in our program. Each of them is ready for change.
But the numbers don’t add up. You have 18 places, and more than 40 young people have turned up today. How can you make the call on who should be given the opportunity for a better future, and who will potentially be left behind?
The above scenario is real, and similarly experienced by our trainers in high schools across SA each term, representing hundreds of young people we cannot reach each year. Young people who are motivated to create a more positive future for themselves.
In these past few months this situation has become more dire, with more young people applying to do our programs than ever before and, unfortunately, due to financial constraints, we have not had the places to offer them.
Please, will you give generously and help Youth Opportunities deliver our programs in 2021, and reach young people who need a hand up?
- $20 can provide 1 hour of Personal Leadership training to equip a young person with the skills to overcome adversity, build resilience and optimism, and prepare for their future.
- $100 contributes towards Youth Opportunities providing coaching for a young person in the two years follow up after completing the Personal Leadership Program, helping them to sustain the positive changes they have made.
- $1,000 enables a young person to participate in Youth Opportunities 10 week Personal Leadership Program and access two years of coaching and follow up sessions – helping them sustain the positive changes they have made.
Any amount given will truly make a difference to the young people that we support.
We know our programs work, our graduates tell us this every day.
“Before I heard about this program, I really could not find the motivation to do much anymore. I had experienced trauma in my childhood and struggled to remember many of the positives. I struggled to see the point in being alive, and what my true worth was.
“Since doing this program I can now sit with my eyes shut and see where I would like to be in 5-10 years. I see myself completing university, happy within myself and in a happy comfortable home and not worrying about being able to pay the bills.”
We are doing all that we can to reach as many young people through our face to face and online programs. But there are hundreds of young people who, next year, I know are at risk of missing out unless we can raise the funds to support them.
Today, I am asking if you will make this important investment in the future of our youth who are in greatest need.
Thank you for your consideration and I wish you a safe and joyful festive season.