It’s not easy engaging with young adults who find traditional schooling too hard to deal with. Attitudes and habits have been set, and respect for education and those providing it have long gone.
But there is one Dunedin programme making a big difference for its students, as a recent evaluation has proven. It’s the Family Works YouthGrow programme in Dunedin.
YouthGrow’s life ready- work ready strategy helps disengaged youth identify what they really want for their future, and what they need to do to achieve these goals. This is done within the YouthGrow Garden Centre setting; an environment where hands-on is the key to providing literacy, numeracy and horticultural education alongside learning life skills. It’s a true wrap-around service.
The evaluation report is rich in direct quotes from current and former students, revealing the value of the programme.
“It’s not just a course, it’s a family, a team,” says one student, “The staff really make you want to turn up because they really do want the best for you.”
Another added, “It made me feel human again and helped me to get a job.”
Finding employment is the main goal for some students; others want to learn skills so they can advance to further education, in horticulture or other fields of interest.
Funding YouthGrow is a continual challenge, mainly because of the intense one-on-one support students require, especially when initially adapting to rules and routines. YouthGrow Garden Centre customers support the programme through their plant purchases. You can support the 2016 programme too by making a donation today.