Achilles boys celebrated for progress

The NDSHS Year 10 Achilles boys are being celebrated.

Ten Noosa District State High School Year 10 boys who are part of the Achilles program had their progress celebrated in a presentation and barbecue held at the Noosa Botanical Gardens last Friday.

The Achilles program supports at-risk students with mentoring, guidance and outdoor hands-on experiences through Strength Potential, the RAGE Program and a Well-Being Program.

The boys were mentored one-on-one by Strength Potential over a six-week period and taken through the six-session RAGE Program with teacher Dave Tomba and Youth Support Coordinator Heidi Campbell.

Strength Potential Business Development Manager Jesse Gibson thanked Youth Support Coordinator Ms Campbell for her work organising the program at the school.

“The past term has been an emotional journey, for sure. It’s been really, really amazing to see these boys step in from where they started to get where they are now,” Mr Gibson said.

Some of the boys have attained work, and improvements in grades across the board were acknowledged and celebrated.

Former Year 10 Deputy Principal Renee Rackley made the time to be part of the boys’ celebration, as she was instrumental in setting up the program with Ms Campbell.

Ms Rackley congratulated the ten boys.

“I had 100 percent faith in all of you,” Ms Rackley said.

Year 10 student Griffin Power said the best part of the program was spending time with his peers and mentors, while Year 10 student Floyd McNaughton said the program made school far more enjoyable.

“Being able to spend time with my mates and doing more hands-on activities helped me enjoy school more and I’m keen to go back [to school] now without looking forward to going home,” Mr McNaughton said.

NDSHS 2016 graduate Luke Birch is now a mentor with Strength Potential, and he found revisiting his old school to assist the Year 10’s to be a very rewarding experience.

“[It’s] A big honour coming back to the school that just helped make me the man that I am. Now I can be in these boys’ lives … they had a big impact on me as well. It’s just really awesome,” Mr Birch said.

NDSHS Principal Brett Burgess said the Strength Potential program was a success with significant improvements seen in the behaviour, attitude and academic grades of the ten boys involved.

“In fact, the last time I saw many of them in my office was probably early this year and I can see they have become better human beings as part of this process,” Mr Burgess said.

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