Mentors making all the difference

Like many children of immigrants, Ahmad has straddled two worlds. His parents settled here from Iraq. They struggled with a new language and culture. When Ahmad was seven, his father died from lung cancer. His mother had to raise five children with little money and few skills to help with his schooling.

‘My family wasn’t the well-off type,‘ Ahmad says. ‘Looking back, I’m quite shocked at how my mother managed. It must have been very hard when she didn’t understand the language.’

‘I remember The Smith Family always being by my side when I was a little kid in primary school. It helped Mum a lot.’ 

In high school, Ahmad needed help with career planning and higher education. He wanted to be a lawyer but his network was small and no one he knew could give careers guidance.

That’s why iTrack made such a difference. Over 18 weeks, Ahmad got study and career advice from his mentor, Steven, a lawyer. Through our secure online chat program, Steven gave Ahmad input on his post-school plans. He helped Ahmad work towards his goal of university. 

Ahmad loved that he could ask Steven any questions about the corporate world. His mentor was so friendly and approachable.

iTrack was fun, it was a great experience,”

Ahmad is now 20 and in the last year of a Bachelor of Business degree. He didn’t get the HSC marks for law, but Ahmad isn’t letting that stop him from continuing to pursue his dream.

Ahmad recently finished a business development and marketing internship at King & Wood Mallesons law firm. This was through its School of Opportunity partnership with The Smith Family. It gave him real world experience in both business and law – and a valuable chance to see which he wants to pursue as a career. And it helped that his iTrack mentor has shared what to expect in a big firm.