Local organisation RUSH Mentoring Services works together with the school, student, family and the community to provide support for teenagers at risk, by placing a significant role model in a young person’s life through weekly one on one, out of school volunteer mentoring.
Started in 2001 in South Australia, RUSH was established in the Hunter Region in 2004 by the current Director, Rick Prosser, who was named Newcastle’s Citizen of the Year on Australia Day 2014.
Covering the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie areas, RUSH’s target group is students between 12 and 16 years. Outcomes have shown an increase in the resilience of young people involved in the program, as well as reduced truancy rates, increased self-esteem and positive changes in behaviour observed by classroom teachers.
Aspire Today Competition 2014
Three local students were awarded a day in the life of three prominent Newcastle leaders as part of a RUSH initiative, Aspire Today.
Senior students across Newcastle high schools were invited to submit an application form and 500 word article explaining ‘how they would aspire today to influence tomorrow’ in their chosen category from either Local Government, Police or the Business sector.
The winners announcement co-incided with International Youth Day (12 August, 2014). The winning candidates including Irini Kassas from Newcastle High (Government), Sarah Mitchell (Business)and Abigail Slater (Police)both from St Phillips Christian College, Waratah were announced at an awards ceremony held at the Newcastle Museum.
Getting Involved with RUSH Mentoring
The primary passion of RUSH mentors is to help young people. They can be a big brother or sister figure or that of an uncle, aunt or grandparent. They are good listeners and motivators and have the ability to be a positive role model and friend.
Mentors must be a minimum age of 18 years, and commit to a twelve month mentoring period, which consists of one hour a week (three weeks out of four) as well as quarterly mentor and mentee activities.
You can also volunteer to assist with mentor activities and RUSH events. To find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org
RUSH relies on the generosity of their supporters. Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible, with contributions going towards recruiting and training mentors, providing mentee activities, running High School Resilience Programs as well as administration and staffing costs. To find out how to become a supporter, click here.