MANDURAH pair Krystie Bland and Sophia Pritchard are making a difference to rural students in Western Australia.
They volunteer with Teach Learn Grow (TLG), an organisation that helps improve the educational outcomes and aspirations of rural and remote students in socio-economically disadvantaged areas.
TLG runs two biannual programs: a week-long Rural Program, in which volunteers provide one-on-one tutoring in rural schools, and an eight-week eMentor program, where volunteers offer mentoring as well as online lessons.
Ms Bland, who resides in Perth, will be going on her second Rural Program in a few weeks.
“We’re going to Coolgardie,” she said.
“I haven’t been there before so it will be a new experience for me.
“My first program was really fun, I got to meet the most amazing bunch of people, and the kids were all so cute. It was so much fun tutoring them.
“I think it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve done at uni because we are using our time to help the kids. It makes such a difference to them because they don’t get to see lots of people from university.”
Many of the programs focus on maths as well as making learning fun to combat truancy.
Ms Pritchard was drawn to the fact that she could use her education to help kids and also became a part of TLG’s Fundraising Team. She was in fact the top individual fundraiser in 2018, bringing in more than $900 during the Winter Rural Program.
“The idea of supporting and helping disadvantaged communities was really appealing to me,” she said.
“It was definitely eye-opening to see poverty does exist in Western Australia.
“It’s very humbling to see the larger scope, but it’s also quite empowering as well to feel like you’ve made a difference.”