Doxa Youth Foundation

Engaging in Education program, Bendigo

Bendigo’s Doxa School provides supported education for children and youths aged 12 to 18 facing social, family, behavioural and learning difficulties, and are at risk of non-completion of their mainstream schooling.

Doxa Youth FoundationThe LUCRF Super Community Program provided support to the Engaging in Education program. It supported students by offering a diverse range of life skills and educational and recreational activities to enhance individuals’ engagement with their peers, teachers, education and school.

The project aimed to develop integrity in its young people by treating them with respect; in turn, the students learnt to respect themselves and those around them.

In providing an educational incentive encouraging students to complete all aspects of the school curriculum, participants attended traditional classes in the mornings while the afternoons were devoted to vocational and life-skills electives. This included hospitality training for the Salvation Army’s Food Bank, a shed project, a coffee cart operation, as well as a range of arts, music and sports. 

The program provided students with exposure to real workplace activities and interactions that they may never have previously experienced. These activities not only encouraged the completion of schoolwork, they enabled students to build skills in a range of areas which enhanced their community interactions and employment opportunities.

Of the 42 students who completed the program in 2012, the majority returned to mainstream schooling, while others gained jobs, apprenticeships or enrolled in further study.

Chris’s story

Chris is a 15-year-old boy who came to Doxa in grade 7. He had experienced a range of difficulties including domestic upheaval, custody battles and conflict between his biological parents, resulting in poor school attendance and an inability to learn outside a one-on-one teaching environment.

Chris has always had great interest in anything mechanical. As part of the Engaging in Education program, he had the opportunity to work closely with Graeme, a mechanical engineer skilled in robotics and an avid inventor who is also a Doxa volunteer. Chris instantly connected with Graeme and together they built several vehicles, usually made of a combination of toys and machinery purchased from the recycle centre. Chris is more enthusiastic about his learning now that Graeme is his mentor and there has been a significant increase in his attendance at Doxa. 

The Community Program also supported Doxa’s successful ‘Afternoon Program’ in 2010.

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