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New horizons: Shannon Jukes has come cut of his shell since taking ona mentor as part of a class by Gea‘ Allemand, Thinking Big PROGRAM GIVES SHANNON CONFIDENCE AND DIRECTION By Chloe Warburton At the start of this term Shannon Jukes had never tried public speaking. But naw, thanks to the help of a mentor, all you have to do is get the ball rolling and he's happy to tell you everything you need to know, and speaks eloquently in public, ‘According to teacher Geoff Allemand, Shan- non had a troubled youth and decided to return to school at the Technical Education Centre, This year, Mr Allemand introduced the lass to an United States- based program called The Big Picture, which aims to get schools to pair students with mentors in the com- munity to encourage learning and lower dropout rates “For each of the stu- dents in the class, it's been about identifying a passion,” Mr Allemand said, “We try and find mentors in the com- munity for them to spend time with - they're the ‘content experts’ and they help the students develop their skills “I's all about working with people, working in the workplace and the struggles and demands that need to be faced. “Shannon was the first of the students who really knew what he wanted to do. “He loved drawing so we paired him with an art teacher called Rabyn Thompson.” Being paired up with a mentor means Shannon is able to work hard on his passion and look at possible career paths he can take once he's fin- ished his schooling at the Technical Education Centre, He's also been given more opportunities than he had before, such as heading to Western Aus- tralia to speak at an Abo- riginal art school. ‘Robyn is the Koarl art teacher at (Goulburn Ovens Institute of) TAFE and she's been happy to take me under her wing,” Shannon, 20, said. “Over the past couple of weeks we've done drawing, painting, scraping, lina cuts and every kind of art “We've been going on excursions. “The last one was to the ASHEletics, where we helped paint little kids’ faces and boomerangs and helped with the sparts.”” Since Shannon started the Big Picture program, he has seen doors open before him and is now comfortable with speak- ing in public and f con- sidering what he'd like to do with his fueure. He's also been given the chance to design a logo for the Koarie Cyc- ling Program. The class has been invited to a Big Picture conference in the US later this year and is cur- rently fundraising to get the money tagether. “Geoff organised for me to make a speech for the Big, Picture pra- . ,"” Shannon said. “I spoke about my experiences, how 1 started, how it helped me and my processes, and what my goal is. “| thought about bei an ar tater or sous thing along those lines. “There are so many ways you can go. “There's Koorle art, graphic art, things like hat. “It's opened a lot of doors for me. “I've been asked to go to Tasmania to talk about my art and Big Picture in America has asked me to come aver and give a talk to native Americans if we end up getting aver there.” For more details on The Big Picture, phone Geoff Allemand on 5833 2694,

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