Our vision is to provide a mentoring program to inspire and empower our young people in the Wheatbelt region and beyond by igniting their passion to be life-long learners, growing their aspirations, achieving their goals and to be the best they can be.
Anyone raised in a rural community will understand that the privilege of growing up in the country does not come without it's challenges. Living remotely is a key factor driving high rates of anxiety, distress, mental health issues, suicide and low uptake in further education. In 2020 the Western Australian Suicide Prevention Strategy identified at risk and vulnerable populations, three of which included people living in Rural, Regional and Remote areas, adolescents and young people, and indigenous people.
Secondary students in Regional, Rural and Remote District High Schools face unique challenges due to their physical and social isolation.
With most people knowing each other and the facilities in the community well, there is little opportunity to be put out of one's comfort zone. As a result, many students feel uncomfortable and are often unwilling to be exposed to new things. Students often have no way to establish a network with people outside of the local community, which again limits their education and career aspirations. They are exposed to a limited number of careers in their local communities and are largely isolated from tertiary study opportunities.
When they enter high school, students are confronted by the decision they’ll inevitably have to make regarding their continued education. Higher education also mostly means leaving home, often at the end of Year 10 or earlier, to pursue a career and employment. Lack of institutions for higher education and again, the tyranny of distance, makes the pursuit of education and skilling for a career difficult and sometimes a lifelong handicap.
"I went from a school where I knew all of the 130 kids there to a boarding school 300kms away with 250 students in my year group alone"
WBYM provides a positive role model and confidante during critical teenage years allowing marginalised young people to feel supported. Boosting their resilience and building a mentally healthy future for young people is essential to their success.