AS FOUNDER and chief executive officer of Youth Off The Streets, I would like to thank everyone who attended our scholarship award Ceremony on Saturday, September 22, particularly Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, Governor of NSW and Sir Nicholas Shehadie, for their hospitality and presence on the day.
With 43 per cent of young people in Australia in secondary schools, 20 per cent in tertiary education and 6 per cent vocational education and training, the majority of young people in Australia are in some form of education.
But too many of our youth still face barriers that prevent them from achieving their best.
I started the scholarship program at Youth Off The Streets in 2004 so that we could support those young people who show the potential and desire to further their talents, but who without assistance would struggle to move forward.
In our first year, we gave 10 young people a scholarship.
Since then we have provided 172 scholarships to young people all over Australia, many of whom have remained in contact with us after the end of our official support and have kept us up to date with their achievements, both personal and professional.
On September 22 we congratulated the 22 young people who have been selected from 180 applications to be awarded a scholarship through our national scholarship program in 2012. These courageous and inspirational young people come from diverse and eclectic backgrounds and circumstances, all united with a drive to make their dreams a reality.
Our scholarship program would not be possible without the generous supporters that assist us each year to provide the financial support for these individuals, for which we are very appreciative.
Combined with guidance from a designated mentor and support from our scholarship program manager and youth liaison officer, the scholarships will open a door that I hope will help change these young people’s lives and give them a way forward.
FATHER CHRIS RILEY
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
YOUTH OFF THE STREETS LTD