Bringing the joy back into Jack’s education

Music had been a big part of 10 year old Jack’s life since his childhood. But after his dad died tragically in a cabin fire, the melody went silent. 

‘Mum had the monumental task of raising four kids on a single income, while grieving the loss of her lifelong partner.’

Jack already had a Smith Family sponsor. But as he grew older and watched his mum battle, he could now see just how critical that support truly was. It was the only way she could afford his school lunches, uniforms, supplies and music textbooks.

At school, Jack was struggling to find his rhythm. There were many times he wished to leave. He felt different to the others; like an “outcast”. What helped him was his sponsor, who supported his music passion. They sent encouraging letters and their financial support helped pay for music lessons.

‘I remember writing to my sponsor. It felt surreal that someone wanted to help me,’ says Jack.

‘Their support reminded me no matter what my classmates said, I did belong there and had a right to learn. It brought colour back into my learning. It gave me the space to follow my dream of music.

Jack’s mum also loved her regular check-ins with his Learning for Life Coordinator, Judy, which were made possible through sponsorship support. Judy linked Jack and his family with learning and mentoring programs. 

Hard work, determination – and support from his sponsor – meant Jack finished Year 12. Jack’s sponsor continues to be there for him at university, where he is studying for a Bachelor of Music.