TRACTION hosted a thank you dinner in early March for community organisations and local businesses that provided the support for the community-based youth mentoring program at Beaudesert State High School.
Founder Sandy Murdoch said through programs at 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.
The dinner was held at Alsace Polo at Veresdale with more than 90 people in attendance.
TRACTION graduate Mitchell Browne addressed the crowd with encouragement from Beaudesert mentor Tim Wakeman.
Mr Murdoch said the 15-year-old having the courage to speak so well in front of so many people was testament to what the program could do to help young people to overcome their challenges and chase their dreams.
He said Mr Browne was a special guest at the dinner with a happy story to tell.
"Beaudesert Collision had a staff member come to the school to run our small engines program, which Mitchell completed," he said
"It became obvious during the program that Mitchell had a natural affinity for engines and TRACTION gave him the confidence to give it a go. Luckily we had Huebner Toyota on board as sponsors and Mitchell has now secured a job as an apprentice mechanic."
Since the program started in 2015, 444 students in the Redlands, 93 in the Scenic Rim and 93 in Logan have been part of the program, designed to keep them engaged with schooling.
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.
"Where this works is when the local community digs in and gets behind it," Mr Murdoch said.
"We are looking to get more government funding but what's got TRACTION up and running is the Scenic Rim community.
"We are very fortunate to have this group, which includes Rotary, Lions and the Beaudesert Freemasons as well as local businesses."
Mr Murdoch said businesses who had provided invaluable support to the program included Huebner Toyota, John Wyatt Electrical, Hohl Plumbing, Nielson's Concrete, Dover & Sons, ACS Engineers, Bromelton Free Range Poultry, Anderson Construction and Kelly Surveys.
"Mayor Greg Christensen, Cr Michael Enright and MP Jon Krause also showed their support at the thank you dinner," he said.
"And thanks also to individual supporters like Jim and Ellen Logan, the Jackson and Varnam families and David and Noeleene Morgan from the Overflow Estate 1895, we managed to raise more than $41,000 for the program."
Ways sponsors can support local youth through TRACTION include:
- Purchasing a BMX bike for a TRACTION participant - $200
- Donating a half-scholarship - $1,000
- Donating a full scholarship - $2,000
- Nominating TRACTION as a beneficiary charity for your corporate staff giving program or fundraising event