LEAP - Macquarie Mentoring
LEAP UP - Macquarie Mentoring (Refugee Mentoring) Program
The LEAP UP - Macquarie Mentoring (Refugee Mentoring) Program is a unique mentoring program for high school students from refugee backgrounds. The program began in 2011 as part of the university's continued commitment to widening participation. The program operates in partnership with the NSW Department of Education.
Supporting high school students from refugee backgrounds.
The program matches high school students from refugee backgrounds (mentees) with Macquarie University student volunteers (mentors). Through mentoring, the program supports student mentees with their investigation of, and successful transition into, higher education.
As this is a strength-based program, the areas of focus are mentee-led with the overall aim of the program to:
- Develop self-awareness, self-efficacy, sense of belonging and leadership skills
- Broaden and navigate towards aspirations related to further education and careers
- Provide support in study skills, research skills and time management skills
- Increase understanding of tertiary education pathways
- Increase understanding of university courses and future job prospects
- Provide support in developing job seeker skills and exploring careers
Mentors work with student mentees in school grades between year 9 and year 11. Each mentor works with two to three mentees simultaneously for the duration of 11 week program. The program also includes one on-campus session where the mentees are invited onto the Macquarie University campus for a day to experience university life first hand.
Which schools are involved?
To date, the following schools have participated in the program:
- Arthur Phillip High School
- Auburn Girls High School
- Blacktown Boys High School
- Blacktown Girls High School
- Bankstown Senior College
- Evans High School
- Fairfield High School
- Holroyd High School
- Miller Technology High School
- Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School
- Prairewood High School
The program is responding to requests to expand to new schools in New South Wales, supporting more students from refugee backgrounds.
What impact has the program had on students?
Talking to my mentors gave me a direction to what I can do to achieve my dreams.
The program has shown to be incredibly beneficial for mentees in many areas, below are some examples from 2017 evaluation results:
- 75% of mentees reported increased knowledge of university upon completion of the program.
- 85% of mentees reported that after the program they have a greater awareness of the benefits that university offers.
- 77% of mentees reported greater knowledge of pathways to university upon completion of the program.
Further program insights
The following video offers even more insights on how the program operates within the context of Widening Participation at Macquarie University. Have a closer look at how mentoring operates in practice and hear perspectives on the program from teachers, mentees, mentors and former program coordinator.
|2014 Annual Report||2015-2016 Biennial Report|
The LEAP UP - Macquarie Mentoring (Refugee Mentoring) Biennial Report 2015-2016 is available
Have a look at our program highlights for 2015-2016, read testimonials from the teachers and students we work with and find out why our mentors like the program so much. All in Supporting high school students from refugee backgrounds Biennial Report 2015-2016.
Applications for LEAP mentors for semester 2, 2019 are now open
- Passionate about refugee issues?
- Interested in working with young people from diverse backgrounds?
- Want to be a role model?
For any inquiries please contact the LEAP Mentoring Program staff at firstname.lastname@example.org .
LEAP UP - Macquarie Mentoring (Refugee Mentoring) wins NSW Humanitarian Award 2016
Macquarie University’s LEAP – Macquarie Mentoring (Refugee Mentoring) Program was recognised with the NSW Humanitarian Award 2016 in Education.
The awards were presented by New South Wales Premier Mike Baird at the NSW launch of Refugee Week 2016 at the Inner West Refugee Centre.
LEAP UP - Macquarie Mentoring (Refugee Mentoring) in the news
SBS aired a segment during their World News on the LEAP UP - Macquarie Mentoring (Refugee Mentoring) program and the work that Macquarie University is doing to support high school students from refugee backgrounds. The segment was filmed at Blacktown Boys High School and looks at the positive effect that mentoring can have on the lives of students. Watch the story here.
Benefits for Mentors
The program doesn't take much, but what you get out of it is something you cannot get anywhere else.
The program has shown to be incredibly beneficial to the mentors involved. These benefits include:
- Skill development and capacity building through training and mentor resources
- Enhanced leadership skills and opportunities to share and learn from mentees
- Greater sense of purpose and engagement with higher education through helping their community
- Assistance and support from LEAP staff throughout the program
- Recognition of their participation through a mentor certificate and mentor celebration
This may help explain why around 25% of Macquarie Mentoring mentors choose to participate in the program more than once.
Here are some individual insights from mentors:
They were inspirational kids that reminded me that with passion and belief in yourself, the world is your oyster.
Benefits for Mentees
The program has shown to be incredibly beneficial for mentees in many areas, below are some examples from 2017 evaluation results
- 28% increase in mentees who reported a greater knowledge of pathways to university in the post-program questionnaire.
- 36% increase in mentees who reported a greater knowledge of pathways to university in the post-program questionnaire.
- 32% increase in mentees who reported a greater awareness of the benefits that university offers in the post-program questionnaire.
Below are some direct quotes from mentees about their experience with the program:
The program helped me realise I am now part of university even though I am in high school.
LEAP Project Officer
T: +61 2 9850 7394