Rotary helps create opportunities for youth

Mount Gambier’s Youth Opportunities recently received a major $5000 donation from the Rotary Club of Mount Gambier.

Youth Opportunities is a not-for-profit charity which delivers an evidence-based personal leadership program to predominantly 15-year-olds in secondary schools.

Youth Opportunities committee member Richard McDonough said the program cost $1000 per student and the donation would change the lives of five young adults.

“We are just emerging from the effects of COVID when we were forced to deliver our product online and while very successful, it is great to see the students face-to-face once again,” Mr McDonough said.

“While our local development board sends its gratitude to the Rotary Club of Mount Gambier, it is the students who will benefit and improve their lives along with those of their families and community.

“On their behalf, we say thank you.”

Rotary Club of Mount Gambier immediate past president Steve Phillips said the club supported a range of organisations but had a strong emphasis on young people and trying to help those who needed a bit more support.

“We know that Youth Opportunities helps a very large number of young people over time and annually there’s several hundred that get the benefit of that extra leadership and extra learning and we’re happy to help out where we can,” Mr Phillips said.

“What we’re doing there is giving but it’s really just a drop in the ocean compared to what, for example, Youth Opportunities and other organisations and education broadly does for young people.

“There’s so many complex issues for young people and society and we’re happy to contribute but we’re realistic to knowing that it’s just a small part of a large jigsaw puzzle.”

Mr Phillips said Rotary recognised if young people had the opportunity to try something different, get a mentor to undertake leadership training and look at things a bit differently, their lives would be set up with greater chance of success.

“It does improve the chance of them having that positive period ahead of them,” he said.

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