We are always excited to see what ways people are transforming communities around the world. Whilst in New Zealand recently we were introduced to the Transformation Academy in Auckland that is making an incredible difference in the lives of young people.
They believe that ‘Transformed people, transform communities, transform society!‘ Education is the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change.
The concept was to work with 16-19-year-olds who have dropped out of school. It is a vulnerable age and many of these kids (some from disadvantaged backgrounds) having dropped out of school go down a difficult path that can lead to depression, anxiety and other forms of mental health.
They believe that anyone can change, they believe that they can put youth into an environment that changes their thoughts and their lives. One of the mountains they have been motivated to go after is the mountain of education. The disturbing fact that over 15,000 youth per year in New Zealand drop out of school are symptoms of an education system that is broken. This birthed a passion for them as a church to launch Transformation Academy. So through an 18-month journey, they became government accredited and funded to deliver high school qualifications for out of school youth in February 2018.
To date, Transformation Academy has piloted a programme and have seen 66% of enrolled students graduate, of those, 84% found a pathway into employment or further education. Currently, they are in their second semester of 2019, and they have had over a 400% increase in total enrolments now over 50 students; they are also currently on track to an 80% completion rate with most of them on a pathway into further success.
These students overcame their fears of failing, attendance issues, resolved personal anger and resentments, achieved the confidence to work together, supporting each other through the challenges to study and complete their work.
These are young men and women who had grappled with exclusion from school, dysfunction in their home lives, addiction and trauma. When they joined the programme they were shut out of the workforce, had low self-esteem and they had no sense of future.
Over the course of the 22-week programme, they have watched them transform in skills but also in confidence and self-worth.
Education is in crisis throughout the globe. Perhaps this article will inspire you to think about what you can do in the arena of education.