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Student stories

Student story — Raymond

Going down the wrong path with the wrong crowd meant that Raymond’s future did not look good, especially to his worrying parents.

Written by Raymond’s Father, Emmanuel.

My name is Emmanuel and I am writing to you regarding the work you do at OTEN, Graham Street, Doonside, in providing out-of-school education for children who otherwise could not attend a school or TAFE. 

When I came to see you and your son Scott Dent, about 3-4 years ago, I advised you that I was having trouble with my son Raymond as he was finding it difficult at school to complete his homework and his exams. 

“He started mixing with the wrong crowds and attracting trouble. There appeared no chance Raymond would complete year 9 let alone
year 10″

Every year he would bring in terrible marks for his mid year and the end of year exams. He simply wanted to drop out at year 9 and go work in a factory and do menial work. He had no interest in tertiary schooling or any trade, as at school he was made to feel little and had his confidence shattered by bully type teachers. He started mixing with the wrong crowds and attracting trouble. There appeared no chance Raymond would complete year 9 let alone year 10.

This is when I was referred to OTEN learning from a friend as his son had similar problems at school. I spoke to Scott Dent at Doonside OTEN who advised me of the success rate of the children who attended OTEN Learning and also he showed me and my wife the classroom situation and the protocols associated with this style of education. 

This appeared to be a lot less hostile forum and the students were advised what the outcomes were needed. The students were guided by Sally Wynd, Martin and Scott Dent. There was no uniforms needed. The students knew what had to be completed and received guidance and support through the staff to attain their objectives. 

All students appeared to be happy to be there, and many of the ones I spoke to, advised how disappointed they were with the treatment they had received at various schools they had attended. They also advised they were performing better at OTEN as it was not a Nazi type environment.

Unfortunately it seems schools do not have the necessary support to cater to all students for their individual scholastic needs.

I enrolled Raymond at the OTEN Learning centre and he was happy to attend every day without any dramas. Raymond not only finished year 9 but he also completed his school certificate successfully.

He is now a 3rd year apprentice mechanic and he is excelling at his work

He is now a 3rd year apprentice mechanic and he is excelling at his work. His current employer speaks very highly of him and is happy to give Raymond difficult and more challenging tasks.

I have gone to the OTEN Learning centre at Doonside to speak to Sally personally and thank her and her team for changing Raymond’s life for the better. I am happy to give feedback regarding the work Sally and her team do at Doonside OTEN. I think our Community has become a better place directly as a result of Sally’s ( and her team’s) effort and dedication.

I cant imagine what would have happened to my son, or indeed, to many other children had they not received the assistance provided by OTEN

The effort put in by Sally and her team goes by unnoticed and one only needs to go back in time to see how lucky we all are directly as a result of the OTEN Team at Doonside.

Sally, my wife Rosemary, and myself are eternally grateful for what you have done with our son, Raymond.

Please continue with your good work as our community can not do without you.

Raymond’s Father,
Emmanuel.

After struggling with mainstream schooling and heading down the wrong road, Raymond was guided by Eagles RAPS and today, is completing his mechanics apprenticeship. He can look forward to a bright future – one that every young person should have.