Father Bob Maguire’s 4-Life Academy
Investing in the next generation. A generational leadership program
“I have been a social activist since the age of 12, finding vigorous ways of campaigning to bring about political or social change.”… Father Bob Maguire
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The 4-Life Academy is an exciting new program where inspiration and hope is instilled in teenagers who are working towards improving their community and benefiting the world. It is aimed at the generation who will be the next leaders of our corporate and community worlds. Trained professional men and women, empower these school children by giving their time, skills and knowledge through a series of mentoring programs.
Starting in Docklands, Victoria, the vision is to extend the Academy nationwide.
The 4-Life Academy comprises of three initiatives:
“Study 4 Change” is a community leadership program designed for schools;
“Skills 4 Life” is a vocational training program for the marginalised youth; and
“Knowledge 4 Life” is a corporate social responsibility initiative which draws on a pool of knowledge from corporate leaders and their staff.
The 4-Life Academy
It’s Father Bob’s life-long principles and ideals, formed from such an early age that created the kind-hearted community leader he is today. The 4-Life Academy is built on the ideals of creating a strong foundation for life and instilling these ethics and morals in the youth of today.
Over the last 35 years, Father Bob has been working with the “duds” – the kids on the street struggling with life – the marginalised. And in that time he has touched the lives of thousands and saved them from despair. The Father Bob Foundation will continue it’s front line work with these kids, but it is also now taking a new approach of pre-emptive intervention.
The 4-Life Academy has been created through a strong partnership between Father Bob and The Big Umbrella (TBU). Based in the Docklands, the heart of Melbourne’s financial district, it will be powered by the voluntary actions of blue-chip corporate workers.
This initiative brings together professional people who have already succeeded in their chosen fields and young people with a thirst for knowledge and who are motivated to help make this world a better place for themselves and future generations.
The 4-Life Academy is a structured series of programs which benefits all:
• Corporate volunteer employees benefit by contributing their core skills and talents;
• Corporations benefit by helping shape a better future society; • Participants benefit from professional skills transfer and the resulting personal development;
• Charities benefit from the resulting fundraising conducted by participants; and • Australia benefits from a more mature and stable future.
“Passing on this life-experience can give kids the missing ingredient in their lives. We’re confident that tomorrow’s leaders will emerge from this program after finding the courage and inspiration necessary to live a meaningful life and benefit their own community” – Father Bob Maguire
Our focus is on empowering students to drive a successful social justice campaign, with the skilled business volunteers as the engine behind these power-house projects. Building a connected community, with the added benefit of creating a new, skilled team of volunteers to contribute to schools and marginalised youth.
This is a government-sponsored, skilled-volunteer business initiative program, each one run by employees from a business or company, utilising their particular vocation, and taking advantage of the voluntary days supplied by their employer each year.
Knowledge 4 Life : Skilled Volunteering
Skilled professional volunteers underpin the 4-Life Academy.
“We need to remove the barriers that prevent people from volunteering.” … taken from notes of the NAB Community Learning Program.
The NAB Community Learning Program encourages all employees to complete a skilled volunteering project as a formal part of their Individual Development Plan. The employee selects a skilled volunteering project that they have the right skills to complete successfully, but which will also help them to develop new skills or leadership capabilities in line with their personal development and career aspirations. Community learning is a great example of how we can create shared value for employees, NAB and the community.
It is a vital tool for an organisation like NAB that is serious about fostering a social leadership mindset throughout the organisation as part of its corporate responsibility and leadership commitments.
Corporations involved in the 4-Life Academy’s corporate volunteering programs will reap the many benefits involved in contributing to a program aimed at empowering youth and addressing issues of social justice. Namely corporate organisations will be working with the Big Umbrella to address issues experienced by marginalised children and youth including exploitation, homelessness, and poverty.
By offering staff to act as mentors, corporations will be demonstrating their commitment to social responsibility in addition to benefiting from happier, empowered staff who are provided with the rare opportunity to pass on their technical skills and knowledge to the youth program participants.
How it all works
Mainstream: ‘Study 4 change’
The 4-Life Academy will travel to schools to do presentations about global issues such as basic human rights, child trafficking, slavery and homelessness, focusing on Father Bob Maguire Foundation and The Big Umbrella’s already-established projects in Melbourne and in Nepal.
We know from past experience with students that this will create a spark and inspire them to take action. We then invite them to participate in a TBU awareness drive over the next six weeks. At the end of this time we invite the participants to come to the 4- Life Academy for a free, full day leadership training program to enhance their already existing campaigns.
Once in Docklands, they will meet their 4 Life trainers for the two days and receive the support, encouragement and, most importantly, the skills to enhance their project or campaigns and to maximise their potential success. The skilled voluntary corporate trainers will then facilitate a program to teach a business model, strategic planning, brainstorming sessions, business strategy and corporate governance, marketing and advertising, social media, technology and web design. The 4-Life Academy will support the students with an online platform giving access to professional guidance and media for them to use in their projects.
Outreach ‘ Skills 4 life’
Giving marginalised a second chance A second stream of the 4-Life Academy’s program is delivering a “Skills 4-Life” training program for the marginalised of Melbourne. This program is an extension of the mainstream program, but is complemented by closer
and more personal mentoring with volunteers.
The 4-Life Academy has already established a mentoring program for positive outcomes with the Rotary Club of Docklands. The program helps people develop personally and attain the skills and motivation needed to get the job they aspire to.