‘ABCN gave me the extra push I needed.’
The eldest child in a single-parent family, Rachel always worked part time to contribute to the household income. From a young age, her dream was to provide for her family in a way her mother couldn’t, due to her own lack of education and disadvantaged background. As an ABCN Scholar, Rachel was inspired by the corporate world and found herself broadening her options for post-school study. ‘Working with my mentor clarified things for me and gave me self-belief,’ she says. The first person in her family to attend university, Rachel is now studying law at UTS and working part time as a legal secretary.
‘Without the support I had, I’m not sure I could have achieved my dream.’
Pregnant at the age of 14 and a self-confessed rebel, Ashleigh says very few people believed in her. But with the support of her mother and deputy principal at Thornlie Senior High School, she returned to school after the birth of her son. Participating in ABCN’s GOALS program helped develop confidence in her abilities and cemented the pursuit of her dream of becoming a lawyer. This led to her successful application for financial assistance through two ABCN-sponsored scholarships, which in turn inspired the launch of the ABCN Foundation. Ashleigh is a living example of how crucial it is to be supported during trying circumstances. A law graduate from Murdoch University, she now works full time as a solicitor and is a proud role model for her son.
‘ABCN’s Accelerate program has allowed our entire school community to see that students can achieve great things.’
Tim Lloyd has long recognised the importance of collaboration between business and education in preparing students in low socio-economic areas for the world beyond school. As Principal at Plumpton High School in Sydney’s west, many of his students are exposed to multi-generational unemployment and welfare dependency. Many lack positive role models. However, he credits ABCN’s three-year Accelerate program for students demonstrating leadership potential with creating a noticeable shift in school culture. ‘I am seeing increased numbers of students becoming more aspirational,’ he says. ‘As they are seeing their peers changing their life circumstances, they are believing in their ability to do likewise.’
The ABCN Foundation works closely with ABCN but is a separate entity. Collaboration with ABCN’s 40+ member company network and 200 partner schools underpins our work. It means we can: