Year 10 students from Dubbo College South campus are the latest to 'rise up' and graduate from the PCYC's Fit to Learn program, which they have been undertaking through their school studies for the past term.
Fit to Learn is an early intervention program delivered in partnership by NSW Police and PCYC NSW, and is one of eight programs designed to deliver the NSW Police Commissioner's RISEUP strategy.
Youth case manager, Senior Constable Sally Treacey from the Youth and Protection Agencysaid the skills and qualifications the students gained through Fit to Learn enabled them to start applying for jobs like apprenticeships, which many of them want to do.
She said the program encourages participants to explore their strengths in building respectful relationships within the school environment whilst also developing emotional intelligence skills preparing them for future employment.
"We have these kids once a week for a term, we do a lot of internal crime prevention workshops, along with some individual growth workshops," Senior Constable Treacey said.
"We look at everything from goal setting, resilience, peer pressure, the ability to make right choices.
"We also incorporate a lot of other youth agencies who work hand in hand, such as Mission Australia and Burnside-Uniting who introduced themselves and what they do in the community, to assist them in case they ever needed it."
Senior Constable Treacey said one of the key things they focused on throughout the term were the many avenues for schooling, such as TAFE, apprenticeships and traineeships, to get where they want to.
"A lot of these boys will go into the Fit for Work next term, which is a three days a week program designed to get them employed," she said.
"We do everything through first aid, white card, certificate of obtainment in construction and technology. So it's all about creating job opportunity, getting their resumes filled and getting them out into to workforce
"A lot of people think education equals school, no it's something we all do on a daily basis that just grows and grows and there's plenty of avenues out there for alternate schooling."
The program also helps to build a positive relationship between police, PCYC and the young people in the community, and Senior Constable Treacey said it's been "rewarding" to watch the students' development.
For some students involved their school attendance was low, but through the program they are now attending school every day, according to Senior Constable Treacey.
"Their personal growth from day one to now, which as only been 10 weeks, is absolutely remarkable," she said.
"This group of boys are awesome boys, just to see their mindset change in relation to going to school and obtaining their Year 10 certificate, even just knowing the importance of getting the Year 10 certificate now.
"They're having more enjoyable school lives ... they're taking ownership and responsibility for their actions. They're actually goal planning on what to do next to get where they want to achieve in life."
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