Community programs – getting students involved

Community programs are an important part of our Yarra Valley Community School’s (YVCS) curriculum. Students gain transferable skills that can help them in the future and also play a part of giving back to the community they live in. Last year the Senior and Intermediate students from YVCS polished up their entrepreneurial skills by creating and running several social enterprise projects. The students developed their own small businesses which they ran in the local community. Money was raised which was then donated to causes that they felt could use their support. These social enterprises included:

School canteen
Car wash ‘Oh my gosh it’s a car wash’
Making and selling beauty products
Growing garden seedlings for selling
Teaching basic computer skills to grade 6 Steiner School students
Providing a landscaping service that included mowing and gardening for elderly and disabled members of the community
Native animals mentoring project – students helped build boxes for the animals with boys from the Mt Evelyn Primary school

These businesses proved to be a great success with funds being raised to help orphans in Bali and a donation to Anchor to support young people dealing with homelessness. They also used some of the funds to pay for their own year 12 graduation dinner.

On Monday 22nd of February they had a visit from Heidi Tucker (CEO) and Lisa Stockheim from Anchor. The students were presented with a certificate of appreciation and a thank you letter for our donation. Lisa had a great discussion with the students about the causes of homelessness and the services that Anchor provides. They also asked how the students would like the money spent. By engaging with the students and having them take part in the decision making it was decided that the money would be spent on food. The students felt that food was the best choice as it would benefit the most number of people. Several of the students were quite disappointed that the funding around homelessness is so inadequate and said they wanted to help more in the future.

“What an inspiration these students are, most coming from disadvantaged backgrounds themselves and their main goal is to help others – we are very grateful for being a part of the 2015 program and look forward to 2016, keep up the great work” Heidi Tucker – CEO Anchor

“The students felt great about being able to help people in need and gained a lot of skills that they can add to their resumes and help them get employment.” Mark Hunt – YVCS Coordinator

“This is totally awesome being able to donate to these great causes.” Sean – VCAL student  (in image above)
The experiences gained through these community programs have helped the students prepare the projects for 2016. Due to the success of last year’s social enterprises some of the same projects will make a return along with some new ideas.

The Social Enterprise Project is supported by the Victorian Government.

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This isn’t the first time the students have raised money for people in need, check out what they did to raise funds for a Kenya orphanage last year.
YVCS Students making a difference
YVCS Students making a difference part 2

If you would like to know more about our youth education programs click here.

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