“Just don’t give up – just keep going.”

Michael Kelly lives about half an hour outside Kyabram, a town in central Victoria, around two and a half hours drive from Melbourne.

Beacon Foundation’s programs have been a fixture at his school for many years, so along with his entire cohort, when Michael hit Year 10 this year, he took part in a High Impact Program (‘Polish’). These face-to-face programs, delivered with the help of local industry mentors, are designed to prepare and motivate young people for a successful post-secondary school transition.

What came as a nice surprise for Michael, was what happened during that program.

“We had lunch with a few people, one of them was a Journalist. We were talking about how I could write articles and how I could even potentially get on the radio”.

Education Support Officer at the school, Mary Livingston, says that meeting provided Michael with a ‘light bulb moment’ about where a career could take him.

 “For Michael, there’s been so much personal growth and a huge increase in his self-esteem since the Polish program”.

That confidence shone during a week of work experience which followed at The Riverine Herald, a newspaper based in nearby Echuca.

Michael says he met a great group of people; helped report on a number of community events and got to write an article about his time there, which was published in the paper with his own byline!

“It was sensational … I actually thought it was pretty great. I think it’s a very big achievement.”

Mary Livingston loves to see students participate in Beacon Foundation programs.

“They’re fabulous … and when you see results like these, the impact that it has, it’s fantastic.”

When asked what he took away from the High Impact Program, Michael answers,

“Confidence, persistence. Try to put yourself out there – just don’t give up, just keep going.”

Michael plans to keep going with his education, and isn’t limiting himself to one career idea. He’s also interested in film making, veterinary science and software engineering – and there’s travel on his radar too.

Photo credit: The Riverine Herald

Michael’s article in The Riverine Herald can be read here.

For more information about Beacon Foundation’s High Impact Programs – Prepare, Polish and Perform head to this page on our website.