Twenty-seven young people showed great determination and flexibility to complete the Connect9 mentoring program. An online celebration was held, attended by mentees, their families and their volunteer mentors to recognise the young people’s commitment.

“Tomorrow Today recognises the importance of teenagers connecting with community and being able to spend time with others outside the family home. During pandemic lockdowns, stress levels can rise and young people can experience low motivation and energy levels. We are so grateful that our wonderful volunteer mentors and community partners enabled the young people to stay supported and connected during this time of disruption and isolation,” said Rosie Koop, Executive Officer.

Connect9 individually matches students in Year 9 with a well-connected local volunteer who gives their time to support the young person to  learn new skills, try a new sport or hobby, investigate career options and build their local connections. Young people involved in this year’s programs had the opportunity to try a range of activities including working out at the Benalla YMCA, testing their problem solving skills in Escape Room games and digital challenges, trying out new art and craft activities at North East Artisans, working as a team with the Benalla Venturers, and exploring careers with Charles Sturt University.

“We know that young people benefit when they feel supported by a mentor. They feel more part of their community and are more likely to continue with their education. With the current and predicted impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, this nurturing is needed more than ever,” said Ms Koop.

If you are interested in mentoring a young person in 2022’s Connect9 programs, please contact Tomorrow Today on 5762 1211.