On Tuesday 20 March, Youth Off The Streets officially launched The Lakes College in Blue Haven. The school has been running for the past year and has expanded to include more students and another classroom.
On the same day, The Lakes College also launched the Cycle Of Courage program – funded by Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation. Students at the school will have access to road bikes and will train to cycle in the Sydney To Surfers bike ride.
Youth Off The Streets now runs five schools across six campuses. The Cycle of Courage program is being run at many of the schools and setting young people physical goals is an important part of their education.
“The Lakes College is a great place for young people to learn. They’ve often come here after facing some difficulties at mainstream schools. We give them the tools to unlock their potential,” says John Martin, The Lakes College school manager.
“The Cycle Of Courage program is another avenue we give young people to unlock their potential. Setting physical goals, getting fit and improving their health also helps with their work in the classroom. We’re very lucky to have Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation fund the program because we’ve been able to purchase new bikes, uniforms and all the other equipment you need when cycling.”
Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chairman, Phil Neat said the Foundation was excited to support the young people at The Lakes College and contribute to their wellbeing.
“The Foundation exists to support worthy causes like Cycle of Courage that help address disadvantage or marginalisation of our youth. Cycling is a fantastic sport and the young people will learn a lot about themselves during the course of the program. One of the things that was appealing about the program is that it builds good community citizenship through participation, teamwork, and raising money for the community through involvement in charity rides,” Phil said.
The launch of the school and the cycle of courage program was well attended, with many prominent community members turning up – including federal member Emma McBride. One of the young people spoke to the crowd about the importance of the choices we make. The young people at The Lakes College now have the choice to continue their education and get involved in cycling.
Youth Off The Streets continually strives to provide more choices for young people. It’s up to them whether they take up the challenges provided.