Last week, another group of enthusiastic young people graduated from our Ladder program in Sydney.

Over the course of the program, our young people engaged in a number of group activities to engage and build connections with each other and their local community. This included regular boxing, basketball and gym sessions at their local Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) to progressively work on their physical and mental health. They also participated in a number of volunteering opportunities that gave them a sense of purpose. They gave back to their local community by preparing hampers and feeding those in-need with the Rev Bills Crews Foundation.

In addition, they had regular 1:1 sessions with their Ladder Development Coaches to get individualised support and to achieve their set goals in education, employment and training.

This group of young people were also given the opportunity to play an important role in Ladder’s advocacy. Several participants and Alumni courageously shared their personal stories at several special events we held in partnership with the GWS GIANTS.

It was wonderful to see them increase their confidence and skills as they developed throughout the program. Many engaged in opportunities outside of their comfort zones and with such confidence.

“The Ladder program has taught me to be polite and well-presented which has boosted my confidence and helped me come out of my shell.” – Program participant

“During my time in Ladder’s program, my long-term placement broke down and I was moved into residential care (group home). I was living with complete strangers which made me very anxious, however having a familiar face visiting me consistently every week and guiding me really made things easier.” – Program participant

Many of our graduates accomplished their education goals, including returning to school, completing Year 10/Record of School Achievement (ROSA) and Year 12/Higher School Certificate (HSC). Research shows a direct link between participation in education and employment and the wellbeing of young people.

“When I first started with the program, I was adamant that I was going to leave school and fail to receive my ROSA, however my Development Coach was very persistent and advised me of the benefits of completing my ROSA. There were multiple times where I wanted to quit but I kept on pushing through and did it!” – Program participant

Our young people were also encouraged to explore employment and training opportunities and potential career pathways. A number of graduates either obtained a traineeship or enrolled for an apprenticeship and one successfully gained employment.

“I was able to achieve and start a new path for a career as I at first didn't know what career was right for me.” – Program participant

We now welcome them as Alumni and we look forward to continuing to help them kick more goals.