Mudgee youth reach their Max Potential

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MAX POTENTIAL: Coach Kristie Newman and Max Potential participant Tim. The inspirational program aims to develop teenagers' skills and give something back to the local community. Photos: All photos courtesy of Simone Kurtz.

MAX POTENTIAL: Coach Kristie Newman and Max Potential participant Tim. The inspirational program aims to develop teenagers' skills and give something back to the local community. Photos: All photos courtesy of Simone Kurtz.

Running for more than a decade in Mudgee, Max Potential is a unique, 22-week leadership development program where young adults, matched with local coaches, build skills and undertake a community-focussed project. 

Max Potential is run by The Future Leader Group –  which is a team of executive coaches –  in partnership with Clubs NSW, local clubs, local organisations and schools across NSW.

“Our aim is to build community capacity and empower individuals to thrive,” program manager Mel Hanger said.

The program:

  1. Develops young people so they can capably and confidently face the world as an adult. Giving them soft skills such as emotional intelligence and self-awareness and confidence.
  2. Equips adults, who volunteer as coaches, with transferable coaching skills which can be used in their careers and lives to empower others to reach goals.
  3. Builds stronger communities, as each participating young adult completes a community-focussed project.

“The essence of Max Potential is to encourage progressive growth in young adults, not concentrate on being perfect. We want them to figure out how to be their best and then go out and moel that behaviour,” she said.

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During the six-month program, young people aged between 16 and 23 receive coaching in personal leadership principles called 'maximisers' to develop personal goals and help them thrive.  

Max Potential was founded on the idea that a thriving individual, someone who leads their own life well, has a significant ripple effect in society. 

“Imagine a person who is thriving,” Ms Hanger said.

“They are confident in who they are, have a sense of purpose, believe they have a choice in every situation and the power to make a difference, manage and overcome fears and negative experiences, and grow and continue to learn intentionally because they know life is progress.” 

Helping these young adults to develop during the program are a group of local coaches: community members, business people, parents, council staff, civic leaders or interested adults.

Coaches receive two days of training on how to help guide the teens, as well as the ongoing assistance from a professional coach throughout the program.

These local coaches then mentor participants, with eight one-on-one sessions, to develop and implement a project which gives back to the community, all the while helping the teens move closer to achieving their personal improvement goals. 

It is a remarkable program which, by investing in young people, builds stronger, more caring communities.