Empowering the Youth through Centacare’s Alternative Education Program (AEP)

Empowering the Youth through Centacare’s Alternative Education Program (AEP)

Education is essential for a young person’s future success, as it provides the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the workforce, but it also instils important values and builds resilience. While the traditional school setting may work well for many students, there are some who require a different approach to education.

Centacare’s Alternative Education Program (AEP) provides a safe learning space for young people in Years 10, 11 and 12 to re-engage with education. The program helps students to improve their life, literacy and numeracy skills as well as preparing them for pathways to employment, training or further study.

In this feature, we showcase Poppy Mitchener-Goodlet, a young student who is close to completing a Certificate II in General Education for Adults.

“As soon as I started getting in here studying at Centacare, I have been thinking about my future and planning about it and how I’m going to get there and really working my way to get to my goals,” Poppy said.

She was full of praise for her teacher, Rose, and her support worker, Tayze, for helping her complete her Certificate.

“They’re very kind, caring and gentle. They’re very understanding of me and they’re very good at explaining at what I need to do,” she said. “I think it is the general nature of the place and the staff here. It’s just really nice and lovely. It’s an easy-going and calm environment to learn in,” she said.

As part of the Program, Poppy was tasked with completing an art project, something she is proud of.

“It has come out better than I expected it to. I’m proud of it and I’m happy with the result,” she said. “I have a picture in my head and just kind of let it come through me onto the paper or the canvas and I just go as I go along. I really love using colours to my advantage and to really bring out the image,” she said.

Poppy also has been able to come up with goals for her future, since attending Centacare.

“Once I finish this Certificate, for the rest of the year I would like to just pick up some more shifts and focus on getting my driver’s licence. Then next year, I would like to apply for General Art at TAFE. Once I have completed that and gotten my driver’s licence I want to go into traffic controlling for a few years, just to get some money and saving. Then in my future I would like to do a tattoo apprenticeship and I need the money – a lot of money – to go through that. That’s why I want to do the traffic control first,” she elaborated.

By providing young people with a safe learning space, Centacare’s Alternative Education Program allows students to improve their literacy and numeracy skills, as well as develop their practical life skills.

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