Once a recipient of the Sony Foundation Australia scholarship through Youth Off The Streets’ National Scholarship Program, Jason Mobbs-Green is now a recording artist, vocal coach, sound engineer/producer and composer.
When Jason was in Year 7, his mother escaped an abusive partner and they moved in with his grandmother.
His mother eventually returned to that relationship, but Jason stayed put. By the time he was in Year 10, he had become his grandmother’s sole carer.
“She grew older and her health declined,” he reflects. “Balancing schoolwork and caring duties was tough, and during my HSC she was hospitalised while I lived in our house alone.”
During this time, one of Jason’s teachers recommended that he apply for a Youth Off The Streets scholarship.
Over the past 16 years, the National Scholarship Program has awarded more than 337 scholarships to young people experiencing disadvantage. These young people are talented and determined, but lack the support network or financial means to achieve their education goals.
“My teacher helped me apply, and I was fortunate enough to win a scholarship in 2012,” says Jason.
“I felt overwhelmed and privileged to receive the scholarship. I’ll never forget the moment I got the phone call with the news. It’s a memory I will always treasure.”
Jason used the scholarship funds to acquire a laptop, textbooks, stationery and other essential items to help with his studies. He was also given the opportunity to pursue his passion – music.
“Music is something that has always been a part of my life,” he explains. “I’ve had a passion for it since my childhood and developed my skills when I entered high school.
“I was able to achieve a Band 6 in Music for my HSC, a result in the top 10 per cent of the state.
“I also received additional scholarships to study music, including support from the Penrith City Council and NSW Department of Housing, and the opportunity to take part in the NSW Talent Development Project’s Music Theatre program.”
Jason particularly enjoyed the mentorship aspect of the Youth Off The Streets scholarship program, and developed a strong relationship with his mentor and the scholarship coordinator.
“My mentor, Sue Stirling, and the scholarship coordinator, Anita Heathcote, both had a significant impact on my life,” he says.
“Anita took me to a musical at the Australian Institute of Music (AIM). We attended their open day, and she helped me apply to study there.”
Jason went on to earn a Bachelor of Music – Music Theatre from AIM. He is currently studying a Master of Teaching (Secondary) from Western Sydney University and undertaking his first placement at Youth Off The Streets’ Key College in Redfern.
“I was motivated to complete my placement at Youth Off The Streets because I felt passionate about giving back to an organisation that has supported me throughout my life, particularly during high school,” he says.
“It has been fantastic to observe and interact with the students at Key College. I’m inspired by their eagerness to learn despite the challenges they are facing.
“I was taken aback by one student’s comment,” he adds. “He said the best part of his experience was getting to meet me when I first arrived at Key College.
“This has solidified my dream to teach and has motivated me to keep working hard in my studies.”
When Jason completes his master’s degree, he hopes to enter the public school system and show young people how music can make a difference in their life.
“I also aim to give back to the community. I’ll be applying for the teach.Rural NSW scholarship next year to gain employment in a rural community when I finish my course.
“I plan to continue working with young people experiencing disadvantage through teaching.”
See Jason perform ‘When Words Fail’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQYOSpRALAU