Youthrive Victoria (YTV) is a charity with the vision that Victorian rural and regional communities will be thriving with strong input from skilled, resilient and motivated young people.
Youthrive Victoria’s Dream Seeds program is a 90-minute workshop designed for year 6 students in rural primary schools across Victoria (and year 5 students in smaller schools). It aims to build aspiration, resilience and connection for rural students leaving primary school, to better prepare them for secondary school and the challenges they may face.
In 2014, the idea for a workshop to assist year five and six students from regional and rural Victoria to be the leaders of their own lives, was planted. Through many successive Youthrive Victoria Young Rural Leaders Programs, this idea was nurtured by countless young people who felt more could be done to help young rural Victorian students create goals and pathways to positive futures.This coincided with the release of a report, Research into education aspiration for regional Victoria produced in 2013 by the Regional Policy Advisory Committee of the Victorian State Government. Youthrive Victoria’s Alumni went on to design a series of activities and games which would constitute the Dream Seeds workshop. The workshops are presented by young people who have completed their secondary education and have shared lived experience growing up in rural Victoria. This is a key factor in the program’s positive impact on rural primary school students.
In 2016, the Dream Seeds program was piloted in Creswick, Ballarat and Maryborough with a series of workshops delivered to three primary schools. Since the success of those initial workshops, the Dream Seeds® program has been delivered to over 1000 students across 38 primary schools in rural Victoria. In 2018, the Dream Seeds team was awarded the Southwest TAFE & Deakin University Regional Achiever Award at the Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards.
In 2019, thanks to a grant from the Collier Charitable Fund and led by presenter and committee member Rohan Gerrard, Dream Seeds has extended the capacity of the program beyond the classroom, designing and developing this interactive website to accompany the workshops and ensure program participants can continue to connect with the ideas of Dream Seeds after the workshop.
Dream Seeds has received fantastic feedback from students, teachers and families, many of which say the program has had positive impacts for the students involved. Some of the best feedback has come from parents that have reached out to us after seeing a difference in their child after our workshops. One parent testified to the program saying
“my son found the workshop life-changing and it gave him a huge boost. He particularly valued a young person sitting down and speaking to him about important things in his life”.
Dream Seeds has grown rapidly with the help of over 100 Alumni, 44 workshop presenters and around 370 volunteer hours presenting the workshops alone. Our achievements remain firmly rooted in the efforts of Youthrive Victoria’s countless young people who have and will continue to support Dream Seeds as a volunteer led program, created by young rural Victorians, for young rural Victorians.