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In 2009, a group of volunteers in Benalla applied for a grant to roll out what it called the Education Benalla Program.

That group of passionate locals was called the Tomorrow Today Foundation.

It officially got up and running in 2010, however, the group had started investigating poor rates of school retention in the Rose City back in 2007.

What it found was that this poor retention rate led to long-term social and economic disadvantage and that this disadvantage led to poor levels of school retention. The cycle was self-perpetuating.

What it came up with was a “local solution to an international problem” based on a whole-of-community approach.

During the next couple of years, it would look into ways that could help, which led to that first grant application. It would design and execute a range of programs, including the popular Parents Early Education Partnership (PEEP), which recognises parents as a child’s first, and most important educator; and Connect9, its popular mentoring program for Year 9 students.

Those two, however, only scratch the surface of what is now offers.

In fact, last year, it ran 26 different programs covering all ages of child development.

While the 10 year celebration was delayed by COVID-19, the Foundation can be very proud of what it has achieved in its first decade, and the following 18 odd months.

One of the people who was instrumental in its foundation and ongoing success is Liz Chapman OAM.

“I am immensely proud and thankful to all who have been part of this first decade of transition towards a more advantaged community, able to envisage a stronger tomorrow by taking action today,” Ms Chapman said.