Uniting asks students to share their ideas for a fairer future

Katherine Keenan a blond middle-aged woman looking confidently the camera

Uniting asks students to share their ideas for a fairer future

This week Uniting launched a bold new initiative in conjunction with Anti-Poverty Week. Uniting IdeasGen invites high school and university students to submit ideas that will inspire other young people from their generation to finish Year 12.

At Uniting, we believe that every young person has the potential to succeed in life. However, statistics show us that one in four teenagers in Australia will drop out of school, often due to social and financial issues at home. We know that lack of education really hinders employment opportunities and limits the long term financial stability of these young people and the families they’ll go on to have in the future.

This doesn’t come as news for our Uniting youth and community workers who get to witness firsthand the amazing potential that’s inherent in the young people we work with. Many of these kids come from families where dropping out is the norm. They might be the first person in their family to ever imagine finishing year 12, and they just need someone to believe in them and offer the support they need to make it happen.

That’s why we’re daring to imagine that we can make a difference through Uniting IdeasGen.

Dr Catherine Keenan, 2016 Australian of the Year Local Hero award winner, spoke at the IdeasGen launch event. She shared about her work as co-founder of the Sydney Story Factory, where thousands of primary and high school students – many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds – have been encouraged to share in the joy of storytelling.

Dr Keenan explained how the Sydney Story Factory encourages young people to develop their writing skills and fosters their creativity. Writing stories gives these students the opportunity to build their writing skills, literacy and confidence, which leads to better outcomes at school and in life. This can ultimately help break the cycle of poverty for these children.

The Uniting competition, IdeasGen – Sharing ideas for a fairer future, is hoping to find other innovative ideas to inspire students to finish school.

Uniting Executive Director Peter Worland said, “Students themselves are remarkably well placed to find creative ways to inspire other young people to stay in school. As students, they know the challenges and motivations they and their peers experience – we want to draw on that insight, and bring one of these ideas to life.”

High school and university students aged 15 and up from across NSW are invited to get involved in the initiative and will have until 11 December to submit a 60 second video pitching their ideas. The most creative, effective and achievable idea, will win a trip for two to the South by Southwest 2017 ideas forum in Austin Texas, USA.

“We’re excited to see what inspirations the young people of NSW have to make education achievable for all,” said Mr Worland.

Learn more at: http://ideasgen.uniting.org/

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