School leavers setting off for tertiary study, TAFE and vocational training face plenty of challenges, not the least of which is financial.

The costs of travel, text books, accommodation and myriad other expenses have to be met.

But Narrabri and Wee Waa school leavers have the opportunity to receive some welcome financial help as they set out.

The Education Foundation of the Namoi is a voluntary, community group which was established in 2002 with the express purpose of helping young people on their career journey.

This year 19 Wee Waa and Narrabri young people have embarked on their career training with the assistance of a helping hand from the Foundation.

On Monday night 11 of the 19 successful applicants for Foundation funding met the EFN sponsors and supporters at a special get together before they head off to their studies.

Chair of the Education Foundation of the Namoi, Trudy Staines, welcomed the students, their families and supporters to the event at the Narrabri Shire council Chambers and outlined the achievements of the Foundation over the past 17 years.

“Since 2002 the Foundation has provided grants to 207 school leavers” Ms Staines said.

“They have been funded with a total of $395,000, money from the Foundation which has been contributed by the community – businesses and individuals.

“This year the Foundation has provided grants totalling $26,500.”

Students are able to apply for assistance grants from the NEF towards the end of the school year.

To be eligible, students need to have attended Narrabri or Wee Waa High schools.

They are interviewed by a panel and explain their ambitions and goals to be eligible for a Foundation grant.

This year 27 were interviewed and 19 were given grants.

The Foundation also supports students undertaking training in areas like the Responsible Service of Alcohol and the Responsible Conduct of Gambling, which can prepare them for part time jobs while they are studying.

Narrabri Shire Council hosted the Education Foundation gathering and guests were welcomed by the council’s general manager Stewart Todd who praised the role of the Foundation, a community based organisation.

He said the number of applicants was a testament to the success of the Foundation.

Grant recipients who were unable to attend the function were William Lonergan, Caitlin Galagher, Katie Davison, Matthew Nash, Zoe Conomos, Layten Smith, Lucy Gordon and Harry Russell.

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