Rockingham PCYC is known for its recreational activities like Gymnastics, Archery and Air Rifles but is also starting to build a strong reputation for delivering a range of educational programs benefiting vulnerable young people including young offenders and other disengaged youth at risk who require a different approach to mainstream education.
Centre Manager Justin Sambell said the Weld to Life program traditionally has been an offenders only program but the centre had also made it available to a wider range of students for who traditional education is not doing the job and who require “hands-on and trade type education.”
The Goals 4 Life course is new and offers a Certificate I in Leadership certification. The program also targets students who have been disengaged from school and require a less formal environment for learning.
“The community perception is that this is where all the naughty kids go but that’s not the case. We do have young offenders in these programs but they are here for the right reasons in an effort to change their lives and create a better future for themselves,” said Mr Sambell.
“We’ve also opened the courses up to kids who are simply disengaged from mainstream education or may have not have the resources for further education and we want more people to be aware of these programs so we can help more kids” he said.
Weld for Life trainer Wayne Lloyd said students who completed a Certificate I in Metals and Engineering could apply for a second class welder’s position or go onto machine millwork or fitter machinist work.
A Weld to Life student said the program had provided him with future opportunities. “It’s hands-on work, which I like,” the student said.
Goals 4 Life Program trainer Frank Carrano said there were currently eight students completing a Certificate I in Leadership course. “These students are here because they’re struggling in mainstream schooling,” he said. “Through the course, they learn skills to help them later in life such as communication and leadership skills.”
Student Michael Hapete, 18, said he had struggled in mainstream school, often skipped school and “hung out with the wrong crowd”. “I wasn’t a classroom environment person, I struggled with English and was diagnosed with dysgraphia, which is similar to dyslexia and being in a classroom with too many people was stressful,” he said.
Mr Hapete said he enjoyed the Goals 4 Life program because it was more one on one learning and there were fewer students in a classroom than traditional schooling.
Parents or students wishing to enquire about future courses at Rockingham PCYC should contact Justin Sambell at the centre on 9592 1232.
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