Central Grampians Local Learning and Employment Network (CGLLEN) launched its MATES mentoring program in Stawell last week.

Events were held at Stawell West Primary School and Stawell Secondary College to give students an opportunity to meet their new mentors.

MATES is a model that was originally developed by Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN to match nominated students with a positive role model from the community.

CGLLEN will replicate the initiative as a pilot program in 2021, thanks to a community grant from Northern Grampians Shire Council. The pilot will involve Stawell Secondary College, Stawell West Primary School and Concongella Primary School.

CGLLEN Acting Executive Officer Jane Moriarty said MATES would help young people learn new skills, connect with the community and build self-confidence.

“We are so excited to launch MATES in the Central Grampians region and connect our youth with people that will take an interest in their personal growth and development,” she said.

“It’s all about providing young people with someone they can talk to and learn from outside of home and school.”

Mentor Nerissa Gee said she was looking forward to participating in the program.

“Everyone had a great time getting to know each other at the launch and we are excited to re-connect after the school holidays and begin our regular catch-ups,” she said.

Students and mentors will meet once a fortnight during school hours to participate in some of their shared interests.

Anyone who would like to volunteer their time as a MATES mentor should contact Penny at CGLLEN on 03 5352 3266.

For further information please contact:
Jessie Newton on 03 5352 3266 or email media@cgllen.org.au.

PHOTO: Mentor Nerissa and student Ezekial get stuck into a craft activity during the MATES launch at Stawell West Primary School.