Janison staff are involved with the local community in a number of ways. Recently Shelley and Sue put their hands up to mentor local indigenous students as part of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience ( AIME http://www.aimementoring.com ). This is their story.
Sue and I attend the local University once a week on Tuesday afternoons to meet with local indigenous kids in years 9 and 10.
We have both been matched up with two girls from different schools. We work with these kids to try and build their self-esteem and the main goal of the program is to have more indigenous kids finish high school and attend university. The kids come from different high schools in the region such as Woolgoolga High, Orara, Jetty, JPC and Toormina.
Each week we have different topics that we go through to get the mentees (kids) to really think about who they are and what they want to become.
The response we get from the kids varies from week to week , but we both remember what it was like to be a 15 year old girl - we didn’t have the struggles that some of these kids have and it was a hard time for us , so they are doing well.
Another part of the AIME program is study groups that are held at the schools after school hours so that the kids can go there do their homework, get assistance doing school work and socially interact with other kids. These go for one and half hours and often half hour is spent playing a game to build confidence.
These kids have had a different way of life to what we knew and took for granted and we are happy if we can try and help them realise that they can do and achieve whatever they want to.