GROW a Star

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Providing Opportunities for our Youth

Grow a Star is an innovative, youth mentoring and scholarship program that helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds overcome the financial or generational obstacles that are preventing them from following their dreams.

In households where finances are tight, young people often miss out on the sort of extra-curricular activities that play an important role in connecting people to their communities. Grow a Star encourages generational change by empowering young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to follow their academic, sporting or artistic dreams.

By enabling young people to pursue their passions, the program helps foster habits and behaviours that can set young people up for life.  The benefits of participating in Grow a Star are frequently far broader than the accomplishment of a participant’s short term goals. For many  participants the mentoring on offer through the  program represents the first time anyone outside their immediate family has demonstrated any  sort of belief in their abilities and, even more  importantly, has shown them a genuine pathway  via which they can achieve their goals.
Since its launch in 2012, Grow a Star has assisted more than 200 young people to pursue their academic, sporting or artistic goals. 2017 marks Grow a Star's fifth anniversary and produced another crop of great outcomes. Over the past year the program helped 72 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds follow their dreams.

 

Interested in applying? Then click on the link below and complete the Grow a Star application form. We'd love to hear from you!

Grow a Star Application Form


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Here are some of our Grow a Star highlights:  

Emily's Olympic Dream

Emily is a determined young woman who is battling a number of physical and mental health issues. She is also a strong swimmer who dreams of competing at the Olympics.
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Emily is a determined young woman who is battling a number of physical and mental health issues. She is also a strong swimmer who dreams of competing at the Olympics.

Grow a Star stepped in when Emily’s family was struggling to cover the costs of the squad training sessions.

“My favourite thing in the whole wide world is swimming. It makes me feel happy. I would like to swim in the Olympics and be a star, but I know I have to train very hard. We were going to drop swimming because of the cost, but Grow a Star helped us. That makes me feel happy and excited.”

Swimming has been of enormous benefit to Emily’s confidence and fitness and now, thanks to Grow a Star, her Olympic dream remains alive and well. 

Helping Kaleb Rock

Kaleb started playing the drums as a way to help overcome his social anxiety and to build self-confidence.
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“I started out with group lessons then moved to one on one. I really liked the drums best because I’m shy and didn’t like being out in front,” Kaleb said.

"Grow a Star has helped me a lot to stay here. My family has had trouble with money. It really makes me happy to come here.” Kaleb’s grandmother Carolyn said that Rosie's School of Rock (where Kaley gets his lessons) had been incredibly important to him as it was the one part of his life that was completely his own.

“Both Kaleb and his older brother live with autism. With his older brother being quite unwell, a lot of the family’s energy is focused on him” Carolyn said.

“It was really important that Kaleb had something just for him, to make him the focus of attention. He has a love of music and Rosie's was the obvious place to come. Rosie's has helped develop Kaleb's confidence and his feeling of self-worth has improved.

None of it would have been possible without the assistance of Grow a Star.” Thanks to Grow a Star and Rosie’s School of Rock, Kaleb’s self-confidence has grown to the point that he has joined a band and is now comfortable performing in public.

Kaitlyn's Passion

Kaitlyn is one of Grow a Star's inaugural Queensland recipients. She is a charming and talented 13-year old who has many talents and thanks to targeted assistance, will be able to continue doing what she loves.
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Kaitlyn has endured real hardship in her short life. Despite being displaced from her family home a decade ago, she is a resilient, accomplished and outgoing young woman with a bubbly personality.

One of Kaitlyn’s key achievements to date is that she has been selected to be a member of the Australian Girls’ Choir for the past two years.

As a gifted and passionate singer, Kaitlyn has received an Outstanding Potential Award and a nomination for more intensive work through touring with the choir. Unfortunately, despite showing great promise, Kaitlyn was forced to leave the choir due to her family’s financial circumstances.

However, thanks to targeted assistance from Compass Housing’s Grow a Star program, Kaitlyn has been able to re-enrol in the Australian Girls’ Choir and continue to pursue her dream of singing professionally.

These days, Kaitlyn lives with her family in a Compass Housing property in Brisbane and is currently completing year seven. In addition to her singing prowess, Kaitlyn is a talented writer and has scripted short stories and poems that have had interest from local publishers.

Tayla's Talent

Tayla is one of Grow a Star's inaugural Queensland recipients. She is a gifted 12-year old whose love of sport and can-do attitude have helped her cope with a very challenging start in life.
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Before moving into a Compass Housing property in Brisbane, Tayla, and her family had been through a tumultuous period which saw the family in constant turmoil and bouncing back and forth between refuges and outright homelessness.

However, homelessness hasn’t blunted Tayla’s passion for life and for sport. 

Tayla is currently completing year six and while she loves to play a range of sport she has a special talent for both soccer and futsal. Despite only playing for 12 months, Tayla’s natural skills have led to her selection in the Queensland City Futsal Team which is set to compete in the National Futsal Championships to be held in Brisbane this September.

Unfortunately, due to her family’s financial constraints it was likely Tayla wouldn’t be able to take part in the tournament. But thanks to Compass Housing’s Grow a Star program, Tayla’s family will receive the financial assistance they need to allow her to play and show what a champion she really is.

Suzie's Way

In 2013, a group of three young teenagers received contributions under the Grow A Star program for their band ‘Suzie’s Way’.
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At the time the talented group aged in years from 14, 15 and 17 years resided in Compass homes on the NSW Central Coast.

Through the funding allocated to the Grow a Star program, each member of the band received a tuition grant from Compass to assist them with developing their musical talents. Additionally, the whole group received an equipment grant so they could purchase a PA system which has enabled them to perform live at events.

After working together for 18 months, they started performing live on numerous occasions, which lead to a number of booked performances. Through the Grow a Star program, Compass will continue to support the band as they develop and will continue to encourage and support other young Compass tenants to follow their dreams in whatever field they choose.

Photo: Suzie on lead vocals, Jordan on keyboard and Matena on guitar and vocals.

Brianna's A Star

Brianna is a smart, vibrant and focused young lady living in a Compass property on the NSW Central Coast. She dreams of one day being a political journalist, and through the Grow a Star program, Compass was able to supply her with a laptop and Spanish tutoring.
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After receiving the assistance from Compass, Brianna’s Spanish grades improved, and with the help of the computer laptop Brianna sat within the top 5-10% of students in each of her classes at her Secondary College.

In 2014 a highlight of Brianna’s journey was the opportunity that Compass provided in bringing Brianna in contact with NSW State Member Chris Spence MP, who will host Brianna at NSW Parliament House for a meet and greet and for question time. An amazing opportunity for any young aspiring political journalist. Brianna has also received a $2000 scholarship from Housing NSW under their Youth Scholarship Grant.

We are delighted to report that since completing her HSC, Brianna has enrolled and is currently studying Communications at Macquarie University in Sydney. Brianna commutes to Sydney to attend university whilst providing continued support to her mother. 

Mundi's Story of Success

Mundinarra (Mundi) is a talented soccer player with the big dream of playing professionally. She gained the attention of a talent scout who invited her to play in the US, and with the help of the GROW A Star program, can now see her dream becoming a reality.
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Mundinarra (Mundi) is a tenant of Compass, and lives with her mother. While playing soccer at representative level on the Central Coast, she gained the attention of the National Scouting Report, a large scouting organisation that identifies talented athletes to send to US colleges on scholarships. Marketing these talented athletes to US colleges costs money though, money that Mundi and her mum didn’t have. That’s where Compass stepped in with the GROW A Star program. Through this initiative, Compass was able to financially assist Mundi to pursue her dream.

“I’ve played soccer all my life… I never thought I’d get somewhere with it”, Mundi reflected.

Holding back tears of gratitude Mundi’s mother Robyn thanked Compass, “If they weren’t out there, she wouldn’t have had this opportunity so we really appreciate that”.

International Aspirations

Lilliana's dream is to one day become an international model. When she was to be invited to Sydney to attend a modelling course and compile her portfolio, Compass was able to assist with the costs involved that her family had no way of covering.
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Llilliana was modelling at a local shopping centre when an agency scout from a large Sydney firm noticed her. This agency offered her the opportunity to study at their school for two years, and enhance her opportunities to move into the fashion industry.

Unfortunately, Lilliana’s family could not afford to take this offer up due to ongoing family challenges - however Lilliana’s grandmother saw that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and submitted an application to Grow A Star.

With the help of Compass, Lilliana who is now in year 11, can now travel to Sydney fortnightly to study and has now been able to put together a modelling portfolio. Her dreams of being a professional model are now within sight thanks to the program and support of her family.

At a relatively young age, Lilliana has made a huge commitment with undertaking regular travel and training on top of her studies at school. At the end of the program she will have achieved a Certificate II in Business, a Statement of Attainment in Networking, a Statement of Attainment in Deportment, as well as valuable modelling experience.

Compass and the Grow A star program are extremely proud to support Lilliana.