A program which aims to connect diverse Northern Territory school students with higher education opportunities is celebrating its highest ever intake, with 30 students graduating from the Team Aspire program at Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus last week.
Featuring students from Nhulunbuy, Alice Springs and Darwin, the Team Aspire group celebrated completing Year 12 with a graduation ceremony and a range of other activities to help them prepare for life after school.
Team Aspire Program and Children's University Coordinator Josh Barnes said the number of students participating in the Aspire Program had increased by 66 per cent.
“We are working with a range of students dealing with disadvantage for whom university is non-standard,” he said.
“This year we have 13 students tracking for CDU higher education. “We are ecstatic with that result – it shows the program has had a really powerful impact on many of the students.”
The students are the seventh Team Aspire group to graduate and have been involved in the program for three years.
Mr Barnes said the students had shown great flexibility and determination to complete their final year of high school despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.
“The students have been incredibly resilient in one of the most surprising and turbulent years,” he said.
“The program has helped them feel confident and prepared to take the next steps in their educational journeys.”