Mentoring our youth

Young people with mentors, especially at-risk youth, develop far more positive visions of themselves and their futures and as a result, are able to achieve better outcomes in education, the workplace and their communities.

The Mentor Support Network (MSN) contributes to a sustainable and vibrant Newcastle by providing adult mentors with the important skills and tools they need to guide young people, from age 15, who are studying at high schools and TAFE and help them learn, grow and reach their full potential.

MSN commenced in 2002 and operates solely with the support of volunteers from professional, academic, corporate and community backgrounds. Mentors help young people cope with the challenges of school, work experience and career choices and can also refer them to support services to deal with personal or family-related issues.

MSN also awards and administers Educational Scholarships and almost 300 scholarships totalling more than $550,000 have been presented to young people who required help to overcome personal difficulties across the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, and Port Stephens regions since the community organisation began operations.

MSN have continued to reinvigorate mentor training events with key funding support from Port Waratah. The ongoing partnership enables the organisation to provide training for 30 new mentors in the community each year, which has been invaluable as currently demand for mentors far exceeds supply.

MSN Chair, Shayne Connell, said “It is only through Port Waratah’s great support that we have been able continue our voluntary work and deliver valuable training programmes that benefit the youth of the Hunter Region.”

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