Just ahead of National Volunteer Week (May 18-24), the community coaches of the Club Mudgee Max Potential program have been recognised for giving up their time - and wisdom - for the local region's youth.
In the 14th year of the local leadership program, 14 coaches have put up their hands to support 14 local high school students through the 22-week journey.
Among those returning for a second year is retired school principal Bruce Roberts. He has been paired with Rosie Stoddart from St Matthew's Catholic School, who said "I'm incredibly grateful for Bruce and other volunteers like him that help make this community a better place".
"Not only does Bruce work hard to ensure that I'm enjoying the experience of Max Potential and understanding the program content, but he has also become someone I can test my ideas with," Rosie said.
"Having a volunteer coach has been nothing but beneficial. He challenges me to think outside of the box and directs me in the right direction.
"Without Bruce's help, I generally would have had a more challenging time making my way through this program. His guidance and support throughout this journey have been a blessing and such a gift to me."
Bruce is sponsored in the program by Club Mudgee.
Kandos High School student, Anna Healey, has been paired with volunteer community coach Emma Broadfield who is sponsored in Max Potential by her employer Mid-Western Regional Council.
"Building a connection with my volunteer coach, Emma, allowed us to create an understanding that helped me to achieve my goals," Anna said.
"It allowed me to explore new ideas and concepts, and assisted me through my Max Potential journey in more ways than recognisable. For this, I value the effort my coach, and the other volunteer coaches, have gone to with helping us throughout this program."
Program manager Damian Walsh said that the coaches of 2020 are the latest in the proud history of the local program that has changed many lives. And that this year's group will have to do so with admirable adaptability.
"The Max Potential team would like to recognise the fourteen community volunteers in the Club Mudgee Max Potential program and acknowledge their contribution in supporting the young adults they are coaching in 2020," Damian said.
"These volunteers are part of a select group of 200 volunteers from the Mudgee region that have contributed to the personal development of 200 young adults over the fourteen years of the program.
"We look forward to our next online workshop on May 22 to see the young adults' share a Personal Expression by video of their story of their journey in the program so far.
"We appreciate the commitment of our volunteers in adapting to the move to an online program to allow the program to continue in 2020 and for them making a difference in the community at a time of unprecedented uncertainty and challenge."
- If you are interested in volunteering in the 2021 Club MUDGEE Max Potential program, please contact program manager Damian Walsh, email@example.com.