We measure the impact on students in three ways:
In our post-program surveys, students are asked on a 7-point scale about whether they agree/disagree with a statement, reflecting on where they were at the start of the program versus where they see themselves at the end of the program. The percentages below reflect the percentage of students who agree or strongly agree for each of our core programs.
Accelerate (ABCN Foundation scholarship program)
As well as measuring quantitative impact, we also collect qualitative impact statements from the programs. A selection is below:
‘I learnt that you have to value your strengths and focus on them, achieve your goals step by step. I also learnt that failure is a part of your success, failure makes you learn from your mistake and makes you better. I learnt to be confident and take charge of a situation if needed and I learnt different leadership skills.’
‘The most useful thing I’ve learnt at this program is to escape my comfort zone and look into my potential because I am highly capable of attaining my goals.’
‘The most useful thing I learnt was about self-discipline and self-management. I personally am really disorganised and it’s a big obstacle in my personal and school life. Talking with the girls and Jackie (my mentor) really helped me focus and map out what I need to do in order to become the best version of myself.’
‘I will stop seeking others for validation, I no longer wish to seek others’ approval to be myself.’
‘I will apply it in my daily life by being more open to people and to communicate more as I’m quite shy and reserved.’
‘The most important thing I have learnt from my mentor is that it’s okay to fail sometimes because it is all a part of the process of succeeding. It’s also a learning experience of how to improve yourself as a person.’
‘The most important things I have learned from my mentors is that we lead by example. So whatever I do, those around me will follow.’
‘It is such a great opportunity to talk to experienced people who can help you. It is so rare to find a program which allows you to interact and be mentored by professionals.’
‘My Focus experience had been beneficial and remarkable. It helps young girls realise their potential as leaders and this strengthens their personality and self-awareness.’
‘I love my mentors so much as they shared many different perspectives in their careers.’
ABCN’s ultimate goal is to support young people from low socio-economic schools to achieve more than they thought was possible. An important factor in that is for young people to have a wide range of choices available to them. Education unlocks choices and there is significant evidence that completion of Year 12, in particular, is associated with better long-term prospects for young people.
On that basis, ABCN collects from schools the Year 12 completion rates and admission to university rates for our GOALS and Aspirations students. These programs are aimed at Year 9 students and Year 10/11 students respectively, so the data on the Year 12 completion and admission to university rates is collected between one and four years after the students complete the program.
The data below shows the strong school completion rates and admission rates to university for these former students, compared with other disadvantaged students. We absolutely acknowledge that the success of the students in completing Year 12 is due to a wide range of factors, of which ABCN is one. However, we are extremely proud of these results, and our contribution to them.
According to the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), 79% of all Australian students complete Year 12. This drops to 76% for disadvantaged students. In 2019, 91% of ABCN students completed Year 12, with an even greater 93% in 2018.
According to the Productivity Commission, only 46% of disadvantaged students are offered university places – well below the national average of 60%. In 2019, 63% of ABCN students were offered university places.
ABCN’s goal is to support young people from low socio-economic schools to achieve more than they thought was possible. Our ultimate aim is that these young people successfully transition to further learning and employment, and thrive well beyond the school gates. To understand how our participants are doing post-school, we managed to get in touch with 50 young people who undertook ABCN programs in our early days; they are now in their mid-20s. While so many factors drive the outcomes, we are incredibly proud of where these young people are several years on.
We found that 90% of the former GOALS students were fully engaged in education, employment and/or training in their mid-20s, compared with 63% for low socio-economic young people. We also found that their average income was $60,000 in 2018, compared to the national average of $37,600 for 24-year-olds (ABS, 2016).
As well as these quantitative measures, we captured qualitative comments from them about the impact of the program, 10 years on. Some of these are below:
‘GOALS gave me the exposure to opportunities that inspired me to do better. Be better. It changed my thinking about my future at the right time in my life. I didn’t know what professionalism looked like in the real world. The mentoring and the skills that I gained from the program influenced my approach to everything I’ve done since, whether applying for a casual job, going to university, or starting my career. And the fact that I was able to relate to people that I wouldn’t have otherwise had contact with, made all the difference for me. When a high-end professional has no obligation to mentor a kid from the west, it gives you a grounding. And when you have an opportunity to give back, you do so, as it benefits the kids more than you realise. I believe that being a role model is an important element in a successful career, and that we should all take on these opportunities when we can.’
‘Before GOALS, I didn’t feel confident in relation to public speaking or meeting new people. I hadn’t been in Australia for very long and my English wasn’t that good. It was a transformation for me from being quiet and timid, to finishing school at the top of the class, and as a prefect. It was like I knew I could do things but I just couldn’t do it. GOALS gave me that confidence to do what I really wanted to do – it was very empowering. My career has been a domino effect that GOALS really kicked off.’
Maria, GOALS class of 2008, Strategic Recruiter
‘It was an eye-opening program. It forced me to think about where I’m going to go in this world. Prior to the program I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I wasn’t doing well at school. I didn’t really understand the concept of where am I going and how to make a successful life a reality. It really did make an impact. I’ve got 12 nieces and nephews, and heading into high school they don’t have any clue what they want to do. I’ve taken it on myself to take them into my workplace. I remember being in the city and seeing people in nice suits and nice cars – I thought: “I’m gonna get that, no matter what”. And I did.’
Malek, GOALS class of 2005, Accountant
‘GOALS gave me confidence. I had a lot more confidence than I did before the program, and the ability to set and achieve goals, even if they are small ones. Goal-setting is still something I do on a weekly basis, especially with work. But the confidence I have is beyond what I ever thought I would have. To never stop and never give up. Meeting new people and experiencing new things. Being out of my comfort zone helped a lot.’
Renee, GOALS class of 2005, Retail Manager
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