While the COVID-19 situation has forced the cancellation or postponement of many events and activities, Club Mudgee Max Potential will continue as an online program - with all involved determined to "make it happen" in 2020.
This year sees 14 students from the region's four high schools - Kandos, Gulgong, and Mudgee high schools, and St Matthew's Catholic School - taking part in the annual youth leadership development program.
The 14 community coaches, who this year range in age from 20 to 70, met the young adults at the introductory workshop in February - before any guidelines were put in place with regards to gatherings.
In less than two weeks, with the full support of all sponsors including Club Mudgee, Max Potential was converted from a face-to-face program to online in time for their Connect Group 1 on Tuesday (March 31).
The technology used allows them to run the workshop for everyone as a group, with a breakout room feature to split up into smaller cohorts plus coach and student pairings.
Mid-Western Regional Council general manager, Brad Cam, is a Max Potential ambassador, former coach and - along with Council - a long time supporter of the program. In previous years he's spoken at a Connect Group, but this year prepared a video.
At the next workshop, in May, the young adults will deliver a three-minute personal expression piece. In the past some have done this via videos or graphics, but going online in 2020 they will all create an audio-visual presentation that shares their personal leadership journey.
The new platform also means that the Community Service Project now becomes a Community Service Pitch, focused on encouraging entrepreneurial thinking from young adults. Students will come up with an idea, build a basic business case, and present it as a short film - with a focus on how to support the community to rebuild after the challenges of COVID-19, bushfires, and drought.
The hope is that interested parties - such as Council, business, community organisations - will pick up the idea/s and implement for a positive community impact in the future
The Club Mudgee Max Potential program encourages participants to set goals and use the 'MAXIMISERS' principles in aspects of life. So in 2020 it's fitting that the first one is 'M' for 'Make it Happen'.
"We're very impressed with the resilience of everyone to make the quick change to online media," Max Potential Mudgee program manager, Damian Walsh, said.
"We've got the challenges of technology and of students working from home, in some cases. But the students and the coaches are all very positive, they see it's challenging and are committed to continuing and to make it work."
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