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With each rep and each set, Sam* knows he is one step closer to achieving his dream of being a powerlifter and he’s doing it with AnglicareSA mentor Dan** by his side.

The pair were introduced to each other last February through AnglicareSA’s Mentoring Program – a program that matches community mentors with a young person in care to support them in developing life skills and focussing on achieving specific goals.

“I saw the job online,” said Dan who is currently studying social work at Flinders University. “That’s where my passion is and the field of work I want to pursue – working with young people – and this is a perfect opportunity.”

Growing up surrounded by positive role models including his parents and sports coaches, Dan knows the importance of having people around to help someone achieve their goals.

“I can still remember the impact of my English teacher and PE teacher, and I want to be able to have that sort of an impact for someone else.

“Sam and I hit it off right from the start because he has such a passion for the gym, and I used to be a gym instructor, so we bonded over that.

“I also have younger brothers who aren’t that much older than Sam so he’s easy to easy to relate to.”

Sam said his weekly sessions with his mentor had been an amazing experience, working together on his gym training while also working on his personal development.

“Dan has taught me so much,” Sam said before adding with a grin; “I reckon I have even taught Dan some things.”

With Dan by his side, Sam said he had been able to focus on his goals and muscle gains and had the Mentor Program to thank for it.

“I’d love to be a powerlifter. I love the process, the feeling of hitting a new record, constantly improving myself.

“I’d also like be a personal trainer helping others to get stronger and reach their goals.

“The Mentor Program has been great.”

“I was never someone who talked a lot to people and ever since I have been working with Dan, I have developed a real sense of confidence.”

That improvement in confidence has not gone unnoticed. While it took a few weeks to get to know one another, Dan said he soon noticed how quickly Sam was developing and growing as an individual.

“It all comes back to the gym connection,” Dan said. “Coming here every week and seeing him interact with others, going up to other people that he doesn’t know and being able to speak with them.

“He is so well mannered, and he gets a lot of his confidence from the gym where we’ve worked on a lot of goals and trying to use lessons from the gym and relating them to other things like school, work, and other aspects of life.

“This has opened my eyes as to how much I can help and how much enjoyment and pride I can take from seeing Sam flourish.”

The AnglicareSA Mentoring Program is run with the support of the Department of Education and the Department for Child Protection across metropolitan Adelaide and surrounding areas, including the Barossa Valley and Victor Harbor. 

Community service mentors are paid for their time and undergo a screening and recruitment process, including a Working With Children Check and National Police Check, in order to work with children and young people. 

If you are interested in becoming a mentor and having a positive impact on the life of a young person in care, please contact AnglicareSA via [email protected]

*Sam’s name has been changed for privacy reasons.

**Dan’s surname has been withheld for privacy reasons.