A very meaningful relationship

AFL players believe that every young person should have an opportunity to succeed. And that’s exactly what their official charity, Ladder, exists to do. Through mentoring and chances to expand their life and work experiences, the Ladder program supports young people to build a fulfilling life.  

Ladder operates in the Latrobe Valley through the ‘Step Up Latrobe Valley’ program pilot, funded by the Latrobe Valley Authority. The dedicated team assists young people to explore various industries and job opportunities while also building on their unique strengths. Through the six-week program, young people receive support from the AFL industry; hearing from the players and industry leaders about reaching your goals and overcoming challenges. Participants also take part in camps, community projects, individual and group development sessions and work experience in their chosen field.

In addition to this, the young people also have the option to mentored by a community leader. Ladder ensures that the mentor and mentee are matched based on similar interests. The program also focusses on the young person’s strengths, what they can achieve and how their mentor can help them move away from possible barriers they have experienced in the past. Mentoring involves creating a meaningful relationship with the young person, making a positive and constructive bond for both parties. The mentor becomes a support system for the young person, an advocate and a motivator, pushing their mentee to achieve their aspirations.

Ladder ‘Step Up Latrobe Valley’ participant, Leticia Lawrence, has gained employment at Latrobe Regional Hospital after her participation in the Ladder Step Up program, where she was mentored by Gabrielle Francis. Gabrielle produced a positive relationship with Leticia, providing her a strong connection to her community and a fresh way to look at her health and lifestyle, understanding that this is an important aspect of building a positive work life balance.

Through this experience, Leticia has increased her networks and found her place within an organisation, impacting positively on her life.  She continues to build her confidence and development with the support of her mentor Gabrielle, Ladder and the Gippsland community.

GROW Gippsland is proud to have Ladder as a program partner. The positive impacts that this program has created for the Gippsland region, especially the Latrobe Valley is commendable. Connecting in with the inclusive employment aspect of the GROW Gippsland program, Ladder is assisting young people, including Aboriginal youth, to achieve their job aspirations by linking them with organisations with the capacity to employ or provide work experience/traineeships in the region. GROW Gippsland can assist employers across the region to deliver inclusive employment outcomes, by building their capacity through training and helping to foster relationships with programs such as Ladder through networking and events. Play your part in maximsing our region, by connecting with young people beginning their journey into employment.

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