In line with our belief that that you only need at least one support person in life to help you achieve your dreams (a ‘plus one’), we passionately believe that children are entitled to seek an education – whether that be finishing High School, attending University, going to TAFE or any other course. They should not suffer because the significant adults in their life are not equipped to explore and support their goal.
Opportunities should not be taken from them. We have to help them to find out what they can achieve. Sadly, a parent’s lack of education can often mean that the child is not encouraged to explore the world beyond what they have grown up with.
Who knows what the child could become, could achieve? When you see a child’s eyes light up when learning something, it makes you wonder what their future could be.
Children dream so beautifully and vastly. In their mind anything can happen. At some point though, an adult steps in and either encourages them to take their journey to wherever, or crushes them because of their own ignorance, lack of education, lack of resources, lack of know how. It breaks my heart.
A bit of a story about ‘Plus Ones’, or two...
I also know a boy who had brilliance growing in the depths of his mind. He had a methodical, detailed thought process and a strong belief in what he could achieve. He loved to learn. He wanted to learn. Sadly, he was actively discouraged from higher education. He had to become his own ‘plus one’, and with a little help from one other he got there in the end, and what an end it has been. He’s lauded now for his professional achievements and success, but it was a long, often painful journey fighting against the trend.
I also know a girl who had a ‘plus two’. Wow, what a ‘plus two’ they were. Not educated, certainly not wealthy, just inspired. Their eyes were wide open to the potential of their children and they strongly believed that the key was education. The father was an avid reader of newspapers. He loved politics and his hero was Clyde Cameron. The mother believed that girls could do more than just marry and have kids. They should go to university and do something with their lives. She loved Senator Janine Haines. She loved ‘Hypotheticals’ with Geoffrey Robertson and she bought her daughter Manning Clark’s ‘The History of Australia’. The most telling, the most powerful, the most effectual thing the father and mother did was to encourage the child to share her learnings from school. When the child came home from High School with her first Indonesian language book, they were interested. They asked her to say something in Indonesian. Their eyes lit up at the pictures of a man, a woman, a child, a spoon, a cup and the corresponding words in Bahasa. Not once did they ask her what on earth would she do with Indonesian. They just encouraged her to keep going. They opened their arms and hearts to her new world of Asia. Their greatest joy was when she started her Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Asian Studies. The father read her honours thesis. The mother told her she had to finish her Master’s Degree.
How very lucky was this child … how exceptionally lucky was I. And then I grew up and gained another ‘Plus One’. Our mentoring service will focus on regional youth because it’s even harder for a kid to explore their potential when they have the added burden of leaving their hometown and going to the big city. Some kids just can’t cope and if they don’t have the support of their family it’s too easy to just quit and go home, and find whatever job they can.
Our service will work with local Primary and High Schools to provide a one-on-one support service for targeted students to help them find their passion and set some goals. This is a life-long commitment. Hopefully well after I’m gone it will still be helping kids in need.
Wayne Sampson Tertiary Scholarship
We are working on an initiative to support regional students to access tertiary education where it would otherwise be out of reach. The focus is on enabling students to skill themselves to become future leaders of their regional communities, in whatever capacity is required.
This is a very special project which is a way for myself to pay back the support that I have received from when I first went to University to start my Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies) degree. The scholarship is named in honour of Wayne Sampson because without his leadership and knowledge, I would not in the position I am today.