Providing Different Avenues with Centacare’s Alternative Education Program
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 Benny Duffy, a young student who has just recently completed a Certificate I in General Education for Adults.
“School wasn’t working for me,” Benny admits. “I wanted to find something that was the equivalent to school that I could still get an education without being at school, and I was fortunate to get a reference to come here,” she said.
And since her move to Centacare, Benny has thrived, and she credits the staff at the Fremantle site with helping her.
“Rose, Tayze and Marny are very beautiful souls, they’re very grounded. They’re really kind and caring and they help me with my work whenever I need to,” she said.
“Centacare just feels different to school. There’s not so many people there and in my previous classroom, there were distractions,” she says. “At Centacare, I get personal attention, which makes it easier for me to understand what I need to do, and there’s no distractions.”
Recently, Benny completed an art project, as part of her course at Centacare’s Fremantle site.
“This was a project where we could pick whatever we wanted to do. I decided to do vaping, mostly because I had past experience from it, so I knew a bit about it before doing this,” she said. “I just asked opinions on what I should. I just kind of went from there.”
And the experience proved to be a positive one for Benny.
“I loved colouring and making all the details. It was a really cool experience for me,” she said. She is also incredibly proud of her artwork. “I love it. I think it looks very attractive, it’s aesthetically pleasing,” she said.
By being at Centacare, Benny has been able to come up with a plan for her future.
“At the moment I want to be a photographer because I’ve always liked it, ever since I was a kid. I thought I could try that out,” she said. “I’m moving back to New Zealand next year. So I’m either going to be doing an online photography course or maybe go into a TAFE back home,” Benny elaborates.
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.