The proof is in the pudding when you witness how much impact the Port Macquarie Clontarf Academy at Hastings Secondary College Port Macquarie Campus has on students involved.
Students shake hands to introduce themselves and stand proud to announce their names.
Port Macquarie Clontarf Academy director Charlie Maher said he hopes that the students translate what they learn through the program into their school life.
“They are enjoying coming to school as it’s a very welcoming environment when you walk in here,” he said.
“It’s also a safe environment.”
The Clontarf Foundation exists to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Aboriginal men and by doing so equips them to participate meaningfully in society.
Mr Maher works with operations officer Vincent Scott to run a structured program.
The students look up to both men as role models and people they can talk openly about any issues they might be having both in school and out.
The program teaches them life skills and works to boost their confidence and self esteem.
Year 8 student Bailey Burns said he enjoys the Clontarf program because he said it’s fun coming together as a group to participate in activities.
Bailey said he likes the sport and going out on camps the best. Locations for camps included Sydney, Tamworth and Taree.
He said being involved in the program makes its easier to turn up to school each day.
Year 8 student Tyson Watt said Mr Maher and Mr Scott had both been fantastic mentors for him through the year.
In term three 25 students were enrolled in the Port Macquarie Clontarf Academy with an overall attendance of 77 per cent.
For term four enrollments increased by three students and the attendance as of week seven is at 73 per cent.