A NEW program aims help young Bendigo residents realise their fantastic ideas, by breaking down barriers to their community involvement.
The 10/10 Youth Mentoring program will grow young people's leadership skills and networks through mentoring and training throughout 2021.
Organisers hope it will have a flow on effect to young people Bendigo-wide, as the mentees inspire their peers.
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Run by Make a Change, the program will match 20 Bendigo young people with mentors from across the community.
Make a Change director Karen Corr said young people often wanted to connect with the community, but needed some support to do so.
Ms Corr said she hoped a skills-based program could support young people, as they faced Bendigo's high youth unemployment rate.
She said young people would grow their skills, talents and leadership qualities through the mentoring.
Ten Zoom seminars will build skills over 10 months. During these sessions mentees will have the chance to reflect and talk with their mentor. They will also have the option to meet up with their mentor separately.
The idea for the program came former Bendigo Young Citizen of the Year and president of the Golden Square Pool committee Sam Kane, now an ambassador for the program.
Mr Kane said having an idea but not knowing who to ask, or if you were on the right path, was one of the biggest barriers to young people getting involved in the community. He said the program would empower young people to flourish.
"Young people have fantastic ideas and sometimes want other community members to bounce them off," Mr Kane said.
"This will provide an opportunity for great networks ...to be made between business leaders in the community and young people, to create a fantastic partnership and network where all these ideas from young people can flourish."
The 10/10 Youth Mentoring is open to people aged 16-25. First-round applications close November 30. More online at: bit.ly/3lF6tix
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