Program connects Cobar students with mentors online

Cobar High School Year 11 students Montana Tatchell, Holly Clarke, Abby Carswell, Pheonix Webster and Emma Neve took part in a MyRoad careers workshop at the school last week.

An online program that connects students to mentors from all around Australia is currently underway at Cobar High School.

The MyRoad program, aimed at female students in Years 10-12, helps them to find out about the world of work, the kinds of jobs that are available and the educational pathways and skills they need to secure and keep a job.

A group of 23 Year 11 female students benefited from the MyRoad program, delivered by not-for-profit organisation, Beacon Foundation, at the school last Wednesday.

A second session for Year 12 students will be running today.

Beacon is delivering the mentoring sessions via video chat technology which connects local students to volunteer mentors with a range of different working backgrounds from all around the country.

Last week’s Year 11 students spoke with female and male mentors from Tasmania and metropolitan New South Wales.

MyRoad program manager Lisa Matthews said the Beacon Foundation knows the road post-school can be tough for some students, especially in regional and remote schools.

Many young people do not have ready access to industry role models to help them make the best decisions about what comes next.

“This program at Cobar is a chance for industry volunteers to share insights about themselves and how they arrived at this point in their career journey,” Ms Mathews said.

“Mentors will aim to forge authentic connections with these young people to equip them with new skills for the future as well as transferable skills they can take from job to job throughout their working lives – like teamwork, collaboration, resilience and self-confidence.”

Cobar High School’s careers advisor Megan Nicholson was very pleased with the response from students who signed up to take part in the program.

“It’s been very engaging for the students,” Mrs Nicholson told The Cobar Weekly.

She said the program was able to offer students a range of benefits.

“The mentors have all different backgrounds, with some in agriculture, IT [Information Technology] and management as well as a number of other areas,” she said.

Last week’s Year 11 students gave the program the “thumbs up” and said their chat session with their mentors had been very informative.

Students said they learned a range of useful information about the types of degrees they would need to follow different careers; the availability of jobs in various fields; salary rankings of different careers; and practical tips they could use to help them secure and keep a job.

Following a successful pilot in 2016, Beacon Foundation secured further funding from The Coca-Cola Foundation and Coca-Cola South Pacific to continue MyRoad’s rollout and enhancement in 2017/18.