A young person’s right of passage is the independence they receive from having a driver’s licence. For most of us, to access this right is easy but for many it is not so easy, and yet the tangible and intangible benefits that come to the young person as a result of receiving their licence can be huge.
In some cases it can be the make or break point to their future employment and training, and it certainly positively impacts their education opportunities, day-to-day living expenses, and importantly their participation and contribution in the community.
The Youth Team at Rise acknowledged that there were a vast majority of the young people that we support that suffer financial hardship and it was difficult for them to obtain their driving licence. As a result we have developed a new initiative to support the young people in the Swan region. This pilot program was developed at the end of 2013 consisting of two components;
- ‘Keys for Life’ driver education training, and
- Driving Lessons
From this multi-faceted program young people can obtain a Learner’s Permit and some are also given access to five professional driving lessons through the ‘Rise Endowment Fund’ in partnership with Best West Driving School.
Since starting the program, 22 young people have completed the ‘Keys for Life’ training with a 77% pass rate on the Learner’s Permit test. A further, two young people have completed five driving lessons and are on the way to completing their log books.
These programs have proved to be highly successful on so many levels for the young people; supporting their independence and confidence, and created a positive outlook to achieving their future goals.
There are many good stories in the pipeline… we will tell them soon.
Youth Team Case Manager