MORE young people at risk of not completing school, including students at Beaudesert, Logan and the Redlands are set to benefit following the announcement of a $100,000 funding boost for TRACTION, a community-based youth mentoring program in South East Queensland.
A grant from Freemasons Queensland charity Hand Heart Pocket will go towards TRACTION's internal scholarship program to re-engage more young people in an alternative action-based learning environment. A portion of the grant will also help the non-profit to measure its outcomes, build capacity and better understand, manage and measure the impact they are making.
Hand Heart Pocket said the option for recurrent funding for a period of up to three years would also be considered following a review of the program outcomes each year.
TRACTION Founder and Program Director Sandy Murdoch said the grant was a welcome contribution towards their efforts to better support young people at risk in South East Queensland.
"We are extremely grateful to Hand Heart Pocket and the Freemasons of Queensland for their continued support of our work in this area," he said.
"Last year, thanks to a $15,000 capacity-building grant from Hand Heart Pocket we were able to work with a specialist to develop our long-term strategy, business plan and governance program which provided a pathway for us to meet the needs of the community into the future..
"This latest funding will mean that 38 additional young people will now be able to access our hands-on programs and we will be able to implement a measurement framework to help us continue to improve outcomes for our program participants."
Mr Murdoch said since launching in 2015, over 930 young people aged 12-15 had been helped to turn their lives around.
With workshops and delivery points in Alexandra Hills, Moorooka, Inala, Logan and Beaudesert, TRACTION worked with schools and other agencies to identify at risk youth to take part in the program.
He said participants attended one day a week for an entire school term to work on various projects like restoring an old bike with the help of a mentor, as part of the Bicycle Build Program.
Many came from disadvantaged backgrounds, could be experiencing trauma or insecure housing, have a disability or have had involvement with the youth justice system.
Hand Heart Pocket chief executive Gary Mark said the Freemason charity was proud to extend its support of TRACTION.
"Early intervention programs that improve outcomes for young people at risk to have hope for their own futures, build a support network and to gain an education and skills for the future will soon become a core part of Hand Heart Pocket's evolving philanthropic focus," he said.
"We are excited about the difference that this hand-up to TRACTION will make for young people at risk as they realise their full potential and take ownership of their future."