Our first Navigator pilot program graduates kicking goals in Gippsland As part of the Victorian Government’s Department of Education and Training Navigator program, Ladder established a pilot program in partnership with Berry Street to support students in Gippsland.Navigator supports disengaged young people to return to education and learning. Recently, five participants graduated from the first successful pilot program at a celebration with their families, Ladder staff and representatives from Berry St and the Department of Education and Training.Over the course of the 6-week pilot program, participants were supported in 1:1 and group session delivery to identify and progress their individual education goals. In addition to focusing on education outcomes, the program supported participants to increase their health and wellbeing, independent living skills and community connections. “Outside of Ladder I have started setting goals for myself and it has gone well. I have also found myself being more grateful for things; I think more about gratitude and what I am grateful for every day.” – Program participant Participants engaged in a range of program sessions covering motivation and discipline, independence and routine, mental health and wellbeing and resilience. Participants also completed weekly gym and sporting sessions with Reclink. “When I walked in here, it felt safe and collaborative, not boring and I always learned something every day. It felt great to be here.” – Program participant Since completing the program every participant has felt better equipped to return back to school or to approach another suitable education pathway. This is a testament to the hard work of participants working hard on their personal goals over the course of the program. Three of the participants have committed to returning to school with the remaining two participants determining what their next step is with the help of Case Managers and Ladder Development Coaches. “It felt good to walk into the office every day, I felt like the version of me from school who is usually lazy wasn’t the version that came here. I’ve learnt more than I thought I could and gone above what I thought were my limits. I feel like I can use what I’ve learnt in here inside and outside of school to better myself. Waking up in the morning knowing I have Ladder is a good feeling.” – Program participant “I feel I can listen more in class and focus better. I am waking up early for the first time in my life and have developed a better routine. I feel like I can get up and go to school for the first time in my life.” – Program participant “The Navigator Program is excited to share a partnership with Ladder. Achievements and positive progress made from our first group is a testament to the work Ladder staff commit to with all young people. Watching growth in this space shows just how important and valued the connection with the Ladder program is to our Navigator Program.” – Courtney, Berry Street.