Youth Opportunities Assoc.


Speaker – Andrew Reilly

Guest Speaker: Andrew Reilly , Chief Executive of ‘Youth Opportunities Association’.
The Youth Opportunity Association began planning a youth training service in 1997.
In 1998 the founding programs began in the northern suburbs at schools such as Salisbury High School and Smithfield Plains High School (now part of Sir Mark Olifant College), as a personal leadership training programme.
 It has now trained over 8500 students in 50 high schools in SA.

Life skills for year 10 students are cognitively developed to provide self awareness for the students to take the responsibility of leading their own lives:

  • To decide to be happy
  • To consider goal planning to control their own lives
  • To decide to communicate positively with others
  • To challenge themselves to take some personal risks – deciding to grow!

The quality of the programme has led students with a difficult background to achieve in further study and reaching out to find employment. Students are selected from their application forms and interview; a group of 18 students make up the sessions of one day a week (6 hours) for 10 weeks. Costs are $1500 per student of which one third is taken up by the school and sponsorship needs to be found for the remaining two thirds. Individual stories from the students are really quite significant, and the new awareness and confidence the students show of themselves has benefits to their families, to their school and the community at large.

Rotarians asked Andrew many questions which showed the intense interest his talk had generated. Thank you for your valuable contribution Andrew.