Young people awarded for empowering diverse students

​Three school students – including a 5-year-old Prep student – were among the winners at the 2018 MY Education Awards.

The Centre for Multicultural Youth recently celebrated their annual MY (Multicultural Youth) Education Awards. These awards recognise organisations, services, volunteers and learners across the Centre for Multicultural Youth's learning support programs in Victoria. These programs include homework clubs, tutoring and family learning groups, aimed at school students from refugee, asylum seeker or new migrant backgrounds.

Students helping students

Celine Paw
Paw (left) with MY Education Awards guest speaker, actor Celine Ajobong (right)

Braybrook College Year 11 student Paw K'Pru Say Kaw won Outstanding Youth Volunteer. Paw volunteers at the homework club at Sunshine Harvester Primary School.

Paw migrated to Australia in 2014. She helps students with their homework, as well as other fun activities like sport, making art, going out to shoot archery and more. She was commended for being a positive role to young children, making them feel comfortable and welcome at the homework club.

'When I heard that I won the award, I was so happy and overwhelmed because it means so much to me, as my hard work has been recognised and celebrated,' Paw says.

Paw says that volunteering has taken her out of her comfort zone and made her become more confident.

'I wanted to volunteer because I want to work with young children as I never got to work with them, and I want to experience new things,' Paw says.

 'My favourite things about volunteering are helping young children, getting to work with the community and building strong relationships.'

Berry Street secondary school student Lucy Pearl won Outstanding Student – Secondary Award for attending and volunteering at the Koorie Homework Group in Echuca. The homework group includes Koorie students from surrounding schools. Lucy says she enjoys socialising with other students and getting other local children to come along too.

'You get to be yourself,' Lucy says. 'There's no judging. I've made more new friends.'

'We work together and we help each other. We have nice food, talk to each other about school, and our goals for the end of the year.'

The award praised her willingness to help younger children with their homework. 'I never thought I would win!' Lucy laughs. 'I was shocked.'

Mussab (right) with Celine Abojong (left)

Debney Meadows prep student Mussab Kader won the Outstanding Student – Primary Award. Five-year-old Mussab, his mum, brothers and sister attend the Family Inclusive Language and Learning Support (FILLS) program at Flemington Community Centre every Wednesday. Volunteer tutors help the children with their homework and their personal goals through games and other fun activities.

FILLS coordinator Jemma Hansen has watched Mussab grow since he joined the group. 'When Mussab started coming along to FILLS, he was quite shy and reserved, often hiding behind his mum,' Jemma says. 'Throughout the year, it has been wonderful to see Mussab come out of his shell and develop some really powerful self-confidence.'

The award commended Mussab for his kindness and empathy as he helps other students understand the activities. 

'Helping people makes me feel really happy,' Mussab says. 'I think it makes other people feel happy too.'

Mussab says his favourite part about going to the program is seeing his friends and tutors. His favourite subject is maths. He even likes to work on maths during free time at the end of the session instead of playing a game. 'I love doing my work and getting points (and a prize) if I do well,' Mussab says.

When he won the award, Mussab says, 'I felt REALLY excited and happy!'