Grow a Star
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Grow a Star
Grow a Star is an innovative, youth mentoring and scholarship program that helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds overcome the financial or generational obstacles that are preventing them from following their academic, sporting or artistic dreams.
By enabling young people to pursue their passions, the program aims to build the self-confidence in young people to achieve their highest ambitions and foster habits and behaviours that can set them up for life. Activities such as learning, sport and the arts connect young people to their peers and to their communities. A young person engaged in this way will be more likely to engage in positive learning, positive health and eventually positive employment experiences.
However, for many disadvantaged and vulnerable young people there are many barriers that get in the way of them participating in their interests and enthusiasms. Too often an opportunity to excel is closed off because of financial and family circumstances that prevent participation. This is where Grow a Star comes in.
We work with young people and their families to enable them to pursue a hobby, a passion or ambition. We remove barriers by:
- Funding specialist lessons or coaching
- Purchasing equipment or specialist clothing
- Funding sports club registrations and/or representative fees
- Funding some travel expenses and excursions
- Providing music lessons or the purchase of an instrument
- Funding costs of specialist elective school subjects
- Providing mentoring and support
These are examples and the possibilities are numerous.
The benefits of participating in Grow a Star are frequently far broader than the accomplishment of a participant’s short-term goals. For many young people, the mentoring on offer through the program represents the first time anyone outside their immediate family has demonstrated any sort of belief in their abilities and, even more importantly, has shown them a genuine pathway via which they can achieve their goals.
The Grow a Star program was created by Compass Housing Services and is the first of its kind to be designed and operated by a community housing provider.
Since its launch in 2012, Grow a Star has assisted hundreds of young people from the Hunter, Central Coast, Mid North Coast and remote Central West regions to pursue their academic, artistic or sporting goals at grassroots and representative levels.
Grow a Star expanded its geographic reach to Queensland in 2016 and the first New Zealand recipient was a awarded a scholarship in 2018.
The program has supported budding rock musicians, athletics champions, lawn bowls specialists and ambitious tennis players to name a few.
Today, 3 million Australians are living in poverty, including one in six children. That’s almost 740,000 children. Poverty can seem insurmountable, but sometimes, all that people need is a chance to break the cycle of disadvantage.
In households where finances are tight, young people can fall behind with their learning, leaving them more vulnerable to experiencing hardship themselves later in life and falling into a cycle of disadvantage. They can also often miss out on the sort of extra-curricular activities that play an important role in connecting people to their communities.
The social benefits of the Grow a Star program are far broader than providing young people with the opportunity to achieve their short-term goals. For many young people, the mentoring on offer through the program represents the first time anyone outside their immediate family has demonstrated any sort of belief in their abilities and just as important, has shown them a realistic pathway to achieving their goals.
Encouraging generational change by empowering young people will have far-reaching, long-term positive effects within our community.
Interested in applying? Then click on the link below and complete the Grow a Star Application Form.
We'd love to hear from you!
Compass has recently expanded the award winning Grow a Star program thanks to a new partnership with Beyond Bank.
In households where money is tight, kids often miss out on the sort of extracurricular activities that most would simply take for granted. But these activities play an important role in connecting young people to their communities.
The Grow a Star Beyond Bank Scholarship will encourage generational change by empowering young people from low income families to follow their academic, sporting or artistic dreams.
Beyond Bank will provide $75,000 over three years to fund scholarships valued up to $2000. Scholarships are open to young people aged between 10 and 18 living in Community or Social housing properties in NSW.