One way we measure the impact of our work is through longitudinal studies of students who participated in our flagship GOALS program between 2005 and 2008. Our surveys found that their average income was $60,000 in 2018, compared to the national average of $37,600 for 24-year-olds (ABS, 2016).
Another piece of evidence is anecdotal stories of where alumni are working now. Nothing delights us more than to rediscover former students who have obtained employment with our member companies. Here are some examples that demonstrate the powerful generational change our work creates.
Shadab Safa, Commonwealth Bank of Australia employee and ABCN alumnus
He says the program exposed him to a world he wouldn’t have encountered otherwise, due to being a refugee from war-torn Afghanistan. ‘One thing my ABCN mentor taught me was the value of asking for help and opportunities,’ he says. ‘I’m really grateful for all of it.’
Watch as Shadab tells us more about his story below.
Joshua Joannidies, KPMG employee and ABCN alumnus
In 2013, 16-year-old Joshua was going to school in what he describes as a ‘rough neighbourhood’ in Sydney’s Campbelltown region. Meeting a mentor from Minto, a neighbouring suburb, through an Aspirations program, gave him a new perspective on the business world and his potential place in it.
‘Growing up in a low socio-economic status community, you think the world wants to keep you out, that it’s us against them,’ Joshua recalls. ‘What most surprised me about doing an ABCN program was that big companies are willing to help us.’
Now a risk consultant with KPMG, he is a champion for ABCN Aspirations programs at the company. Watch as Joshua tells us more about his story below.
Joseph Charrouf, Westpac employee and ABCN alumnus
Joseph Charrouf entered the three-year Accelerate program, run by the ABCN Foundation, in 2015. One of eight siblings, Joseph’s family migrated to Australia from Lebanon in search of a better life.
Joseph credits his ABCN scholarship with getting him to where he is today: studying information technology and business at UTS while also working part-time as an Associate Business Analyst at Westpac, one of ABCN’s business partners.
‘The insight I received from my mentor was invaluable. That it came from someone who wanted to see me succeed, is priceless.’
Read more about Joseph here.
Janet Sou, Stockland employee and ABCN alumna
After participating in several ABCN programs while at high school, Janet Sou is now a Customer Insights Analyst at ABCN member company Stockland… where she is also one of about 200 ABCN volunteer mentors at the company.
‘Change doesn’t always work quickly. Change is subtle and it’s accumulated over time and numerous experiences.’
Read more about Janet here.
Joe Yakoub, EY employee and ABCN alumnus
As a student at Tempe High School a decade ago, Joe had an early interest in business. But it was his participation in GOALS in Year 9 that helped his dream become a reality, with Joe now working as a senior consultant for EY, one of ABCN’s member companies.
‘The program really helped give me direction and greater insight into what I needed to do to get there.’
Read more about Joe here.
Michelle Lwin, Optus employee and ABCN alumna
Growing up in a Burmese migrant family, Michelle had little exposure to the corporate world. Today, Michelle is a graduate with Optus, one of ABCN’s founding member companies, and a member of the ABCN Alumni Committee.
‘ABCN really helped to grow my confidence. Through GOALS, I learnt to believe in myself … My life would be very different if I hadn’t participated in the ABCN programs.’
Read more about Michelle here.
Michael, Project Manager and GOALS alumnus
‘It definitely broadened my mindset. Going to a low socio-economic school, you sometimes think that things aren’t possible. Whereas doing GOALS, getting exposure to high corporate business and seeing how it’s possible to achieve that, it just made me work harder to get there.’
Jakob, Chef and GOALS alumnus
‘It was a confidence boost in terms of thinking towards the future; back then I wasn’t too concerned. But when you do the program it gives you a spark and opens your eyes to go: “Okay, maybe I can do something, maybe there is something to look forward to after school”. Doing GOALS I got an idea of what I could be. Being interested in food, I would try all the things at lunch and that’s what inspired me.’
Lesca, studying a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine and GOALS alumna
‘It was good to know that you had someone to believe in you. I wish I could go back and thank my mentor for giving me her time and giving me adult support – it had a real impact on my life. I still apply what I learnt in my life today. I was able to be a successful mentor and facilitator during the Veterinary Medicine Year 1 program for new and future students.’
Clay, Chef and GOALS alumnus
‘It was a very big glimpse into the working world, what to expect and how to achieve it. The program helped me set goals and develop some sort of idea of how hard I have to work to get where I wanted to go. As a child you don’t listen to your parents. Meeting with someone who is a third party who confirms what your parents say really drives it home, because as a child you rebel against your parents.’
See statistics about the impact individual programs have had on participants by clicking on selected programs here.