WHAT WE DO IN THE COMMUNITY
The valuable dollars which the Real Futures Foundation generates are used to provide and support a host of programs that Tomaree High and St Philip’s schools would otherwise have no hope of funding. In 2015 the Foundation funded more than $54,000 for the two schools to run a range of diverse programs, which are based at the schools and out in the wider community. Funding for the programs comes from two sources: the major slice is donated by sponsors in the Port Stephens community; and a small proportion comes from grants. It adds up to Real Futures being a very unique community asset. It is a Port Stephens-based organisation which offers specific, permanent and guaranteed funding for programs in the two schools. The second gain is the networking opportunity Real Futures offers between the schools and the community. There is a strengthening of awareness and participation by the entire community in the delivery of education. As career’s adviser Robyn Nichols explains, the two schools had in the past, like many elsewhere, often received various government or industry-funded grants and support to help prepare students for the world of work, but that funding and support too often came and went - it was never continuing as it is with Real Futures. Robyn said the programs over the years had changed and evolved to suit the needs of students, to keep them engaged with education, the community and future employment. Requests for program annual funding comes from the schools with a Real Futures panel assessing those requests based on value, priorities and funds available. This year a dozen programs have been approved, plus another three which are supported by grants. Some of those programs are:
Careers Quest: The chance for all Year 10 students to gain details about a wide variety of careers. Presenters give real-life experience of work situations and how they gained the job they hold.
Work Ready: Gives students individual help in developing the skills to gain work in trades and other areas.
Try a Trade Expo: Identified Year 10 students from both schools are transported to the Expo where students are given hands-on experience in various trades.
Personal Development: Highlights the importance of presentation and grooming especially in an interview situation.
Toolbox: Gives specialised support in work skills to “at risk” students and involves on-the-job training.
Charter Signing: a signature part of the Real Futures program where students sign a pledge to continue their schooling or other training.
WOW Training: customised training to equip students for the "World of Work" interview skills, deportment and the do's and don'ts of the workplace.
Skills Roadshow: an initiative that assists students to match their skills to potential careers.