Lara Galea: The Shack Youth Services
How a struggling student became a straight-A achiever
The young student was struggling with maths and needed help. On her first day at the Shack Tutoring Program she was highly anxious and didn’t want to leave her mum’s side.
But thanks to the safe and welcoming environment created by Lara Galea she has blossomed into a confident straight-A student.
She is an example of the difference Shack Youth Services makes in the lives of year 6-to-12 students in the Randwick and Botany areas.
The program is a partnership with the University of NSW, which handpicks tutors from its student body.
Thanks to Lara’s tireless efforts to enrol young people in the program, 120 kids are improving at school this year.
“Their grades are just getting better and better,” says Lara, who has worked for the Shack for three years and also coordinates its school holiday program.
The students’ strong relationship with their tutors, who are not much older than them, is encouraging many to think about going to university.
Lara is delighted to be a Westfield Local Hero, mostly because it will make more young people aware of the Shack.
The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant will allow the program to continue and fund a refurbishment of the Shack’s drop-in centre.
“The school holiday program and drop-in centre are entry points where kids come in and meet the staff,” says Lara.