14 November 2013
More than 50 University of the Sunshine Coast students have gone above and beyond their normal workload this semester by serving as mentors for local Indigenous high school students.
As part of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), the USC students have partnered with Indigenous high school students to assist and encourage them in their educational endeavours.
USC has provided student mentors through the AIME program for local Year 9-12 Indigenous students from Sunshine Beach to Beerwah since 2011.
Bachelor of Social Work student Jane Pearson, 27, of Tewantin said she had enjoyed participating in AIME this semester.
“It is an amazing organisation to be involved with and the program offers a rewarding experience for mentors,” she said. “The vision and determination of the students in the program is inspiring.
“They are dealing with legacies of disadvantage and discrimination, so it is important to offer support and encouragement throughout their studies so they can focus on future goals.
“It is wonderful working with young people and I feel university students have a lot to give and gain in supporting Indigenous students in the region.”
USC Indigenous Services Officer Nicole Copley said AIME recently held a workshop at USC that attracted more than 140 local Indigenous high school students.
“The level of interest and involvement we are receiving from local school students in the program is very positive and it continues to grow,” she said.
“The program is focused on breaking down barriers to higher education for Indigenous students, encouraging them to complete high school and consider university as a possible pathway.
“Through role modelling and peer support, USC students are helping high school students to realise their own potential and take ownership of their future.”
— Jessica Halls