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Established in 2005 with just two recipients, the Mentor Support Network (MSN) has grown with the total number of 175 local students receiving their support, with contributions of over $400,000 from supporters such as Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group.

MSN provides training, professional development and networking for mentors within the initiative, in addition to scholarships and support to students in need (assisted by partnerships with the corporate sector). The organisation connects people with news and events relevant to the Network.

It is noted that scholarships are not just handed out – they are earnt by students who are determined to educate themselves, and just need a helping hand.

Importantly, the scholarship ceases if the student drops out of school, providing additional motivation for students to commit to achieving their educational goals.  Currently 90-95% of students finish their schooling…an excellent outcome for everyone involved.

The scholarships are truly life changing, something you learn after hearing just a few stories for recipients:
Dorcas who was a recipient in 2015/16 said “Thanks to MSN, I can be a normal student without the worry of financial burden.  I am doing a double business degree at Uni next year, adding in Law.”

Another 2015/16 recipient Jacob told us “When I found out I’d won a scholarship it was relief.  Instant relief.  I used the funds on textbooks, uniforms and a computer.  I’m now studying a Bachelor of Arts with International Business Studies and also a Bachelor of Law.”

And then Angela who received her scholarship in 2013/14 inspired this year’s recipients with her story of graduating uni and working in her dream job all because she no longer had to worry.

“Every waking minute I studied, and the scholarship allowed me to concentrate on my studies without the constant worry for myself and my Mum of how I could purchase a laptop.  I’ve also used the funds for a tutor.  I’m studying Social Science and since graduating I’m now working in the mental health space.”

We believe that strong communities raise a child, and it has taken a community to make MSN happen. The children supported by MSN want to change their story and want to break the cycle of all that they know.
NCIG is very proud to be part of MSN through the Community Support Program. “Our goal is about helping sister community projects and social interactions. No better way to do that than with our younger generations”, said NCIG HSEC Manager, Nathan Juchau.

NCIG is absolutely committed to investing in the future of our communities and we look forward to hearing more heartfelt stories from our young people whose lives are so positively impacted by MSN.

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