Nowra and Vinentia High School students were given a fresh look at what life is really like outside the school gates, during a workshop presented as part of 2019 National Skills Week.
The Truth Project, presented by Year13, came to the schools recently and involved interactive workshops for year 10, 11 and 12 students which aimed to enhance their knowledge and encourage a more positive post-school journey.
The Year 10 session aimed to 'motivate' students to set meaningful goals and overcome challenges to reach them; year 11 students were 'educated' about the range of employment opportunities available to them beyond the standard university pathway; and the year 12 workshop was designed to 'resonate' with students as they embark on the final stages of high school and face the challenges of post-school life.
Presenter Jannah Beth lived and worked in the Shoalhaven for a year after leaving school.
She said that of the 12,000 people asked in a Year13 survey, 91 per cent said to be successful is to be happy.
"We start out by asking students, 'what would you do if money wasn't an object?' We're often told this narrative that you have to follow a certain path after school ... but it takes time to work out what you are passionate about. So we go into schools and share our own stories - I'm a high school drop-out; I didn't finish year 10 and I'm a musician. I studied music through TAFE and since then have had an amazing music journey. Through that I found out I'm really passionate about people," she said.
Through a combination of personal stories and videos, The Truth Project aims to reveal the nature of workplaces, industries, education and the ability of young people to achieve their dreams.
It also provides information about a range of employment opportunities available to students beyond the standard university pathway and emphasises the importance of VET.
Jannah said she received some great feedback from Vincentia students.
"I learnt that in life you have to have a goal setting or plan in order for you to achieve in something that you are good at. We make alot of mistakes in life but we come back bigger better and more confident then how are before. Learnt alot of great things and appreciate for your time to teach us," one student commented.
Another said the true stories and videos made them feel less alone.
"The statistics shown to us during the presentation showing that I wasn't alone in my concerns about not knowing what I want to do yet."
The Truth Project was held as part of 2019 National Skills Week.