Tim presenting award to Jasmin

My name is Jasmine Schroeder and I commenced with the Rotary Youth Arts Project in 2007 where I signed up for the Photography course and at that time I was in Year 9 at Collingwood College. On the completion of the photography course, I received an offer to join the Rotary Next Step Program and I accepted the invitation, commencing in 2008.

I was then referred to the Big Brother/Big Sisters mentoring program being allocated a mentor in 2009, at that time I did not make regular contact with the mentor and I utilised the Coordinator of the Next Step Program as my mentor. Since that time I have made regular contact with that mentor and we have become good friends as well.

At the end of Year 10, I then transferred schools from Collingwood College to Swinburne College in Hawthorn.  In the initial stages of the Rotary Next Step Program, I found the process, overwhelming but was provided with a laptop through some of the program funding for support in my studies.

Earlier in 2011, I completed my career profile testing, and it gave me further insight into my strengths. By viewing my strengths, I have been able to put more of an effort into my future direction of becoming a Nurse.

Through this career profile testing it gave me the confidence to apply to the Australian Catholic University for a position in the Division 2 nursing course that will lead to me obtaining a Bachelor Degree in Nursing. I attended an interview and testing for the course in Division 2 nursing and was accepted to commence in 2012.

I have found the experience of the Next Step Program really good and reliable. I have always been able to contact program staff and receive valuable support. This has allowed me to feel more confident in my approach to life and encourage me to pursue my goals.

By doing this program it has changed the way that I view things  and how we need to achieve our goals and succeed in life.

Jasmine Schroeder
January 2012

Rohan and Addo
In 2005 I came to Australia from Somalia I was 15 years old. Everything was very different. The Australian culture, communications and the language all made life difficult. At school my teachers were expecting me to do my homework, but it would take me hours and hours just to understand the questions. I had to use the dictionary for almost every word.

I love to dance and in 2007 joined the Rotary Youth Arts Dance program held at Dancehouse and this led to me being invited by Tim to join the Rotary Next Step program. I was then offered the opportunity to have a mentor arranged by Big Brothers Big Sisters. I was very happy but at the same time I worried if the mentor would understand my situation.
In 2008 I was introduced to Rohan (IT Manager Visy) my new mentor by Wendy from Big Brothers Big Sisters . Rohan and I got along really well. He is not just smart and professional but he also knows how to approach and help young people.

I always wanted to have my own business but I did not know how and what to do. I discussed my ideas with Rohan and he started to research them. Tim took me to a digital printing company Creffields to learn how a business operates. I met Frank the business owner and he offered me a job. Frank was nice and he used to take time off to explain to me how his business runs from day to day. I found this very helpful. I learned to communicate, cooperate, share ideas, and negotiate with customers and co workers.

Darryl the Next Step Youth Worker arranged for me to do the Next Step CMyPeople career guidance testing. This confirmed I was on the right path running a business with a focus on young people. I completed a Personal Trainers course and now I have started my own business with a focus on my passions of soccer and helping young people. Rohan and Tim still help me and I am training to qualify as a Youth Worker with Darryl’s help.

Now I am only 21 with a lovely partner, a father of a beautiful baby girl, a business owner and trying to establish a soccer club to get kids off the street. I believe I would not be where I am today if this program did not exist.
This program has helped a lot of young people and I believe it will help many more in the years to come.

Addo Abdulahi
November 2011