Call for trusted adults in Port Stephens to become youth mentors

PORT Stephens based adults looking to ‘give back’ to their communities are being called upon to join a volunteer youth mentoring program to help make a difference in a young person’s life this year.

Vicki Condon, founder and CEO of Raise Foundation, said that with the difficulties of the past several years, there had never been a more important time to think about volunteering.

“We know many young people in Port Stephens are experiencing an increasing number of challenges that impact their wellbeing, yet many are unable to access a caring, independent and trusted adult to talk to – someone that shows up each week just for them,” she said.

“With our industry leading training we can equip anyone from the community to become a youth mentor, so we’re asking anyone interested to consider signing up and helping address this urgent social need.”

The Origin Energy Foundation has been a partner of Raise since 2021, with Origin Energy employees from across the country undertaking training to become youth mentors as part of the Foundation’s volunteering program.

This year the focus is on supporting regional areas where mentors are still needed to ensure the program can go ahead.

Tania Carlos, Origin Energy Foundation volunteering program manager said, “In addition to having huge benefits for the young people involved, our employees who volunteer as mentors have said that the connection with their mentee gave them a sense of purpose and improved their active listening skills.”

Jon*, a manager at Origin Energy started volunteering with Raise in 2021 and mentored a thirteen-year-old boy who struggled with confidence and trust in relationships.

“The main impact I noticed was the confidence he gained in interacting with adults and even starting to see it as a positive and fun thing – all incredible steps for someone who sadly suffered great personal loss and trauma throughout his childhood.

“It made me feel really good that I could help a young person in a formative part of their lives. “The biggest learning for me was, once I’d committed to it, how easy it was to make a positive contribution to a young person’s life.

“It’s so humbling and fulfilling and I’d encourage anyone considering becoming a mentor to have a go,” Jon said.

Evidence-led and focused on program evaluation, Raise measures the impact of the programs and has seen the young people who graduate grow in resilience, sense of belonging and hope for the future.

Last year the Raise youth mentoring program reached more than 2,000 young people and aims to support more than 2,500 throughout 2023.

Registrations close on 24 February, 2023.

Find out more or apply to become a mentor at

*Surname of mentor withheld to protect mentee privacy.

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