Jamie is a year 11 student at Glenmore Park High School in Penrith, NSW, who is deeply committed to his goal of making ‘a positive difference in other people's lives’. Jamie created a project to target the issues of ‘poor attendance and poor overall well-being of students’ by putting in place a program that ‘rewards students for attending above the required 85% of the time’ through rewards and incentives including school excursions or picnics. He’s also aiming high in improving student wellbeing, creating a check-in system to be released each month, which allows students to report their mental health status, and enables teachers and staff to identify those at risk of poor mental health, and intervene to provide support and resources. Jamie says this system will likely be highly effective as it does not place pressure on students to affirmatively seek support - something that can be intimidating and daunting as a young person. Jamie’s project has been taken up with great enthusiasm - having received the support of his principal, key executives, and a regional officer for the Department of Education. His efforts are a strong example of authentic, human-centred student leadership in schools, and the benefits of bringing student voice into solving and challenging school-based issues. ‘I would like to make school a place where support is available when in need of it and also give every student the opportunity to earn a reward for their efforts,’ he says.
Jamie attended our Secondary Youth Leadership Conference and participated in the LeaderUp post event program.
Youth Leadership Academy Australia’s very first post-event LeaderUp program saw some of Australia’s brightest young leaders come together to create an innovative solution to a problem they observed in their community. Throughout the ten-week program, students planned, organised, and proposed their projects to their schools, launching themselves into the process to create genuine, grassroots change.