Young people in Australia face countless challenges in the world today, many of whom also experience extreme hardships at home, and in their personal lives: currently, suicide is the leading cause of death for young people.
The conventional “sit-down” classroom is no longer working for many young people who require a different approach to learning.
TRACTION was founded seven years ago by Sandy Murdoch who wanted to create a safe and supportive environment through mentoring, to boost these kids towards a positive future.
By giving them the tools of resilience, in an environment that nurtures their social and emotional well-being, TRACTION helps young people to engage in learning, build connections, develop skills for healthy relationships, consider future employment pathways, and better manage life’s challenges.
TRACTION is powered by the generosity of the community, including Merlo as a partner of the CEO Bike Build.
One day a week for ten weeks, teenagers who are struggling at home are taught valuable life lessons through the TRACTION mentoring program. Due to the kindness and generosity of the community, 1,514 bicycles have been donated to young people to be taken apart, then re-assembled by each individual to paint and construct the bike they always wanted.
This approach is different, it’s hands-on and can be some of the hardest work they’ve ever done; it develops skills like perseverance, and resilience and builds self-worth and confidence.
These are invaluable attitudes for young people who are struggling TRACTION recognises that not all kids learn the same way, their strengths lie in other areas, that remain untapped by conventional schooling.
TRACTION programs have reached more than 1,770 young people since 2015, and helped young people achieve powerful outcomes including increased confidence and resilience, hope for the future, and increased engagement with school, family, and friends.
Unfortunately, 1 in 10 current young people are disengaged from education, training, and employment with a further 1 in 4 young people facing a mental health challenge. TRACTION programs have consistently engaged young people with program completion and attendance rates well over 90% with an added 92% reported TRACTION helped them build confidence.
Since 2018, Merlo has passionately supported this incredible cause and has been involved in the annual TRACTION fundraising event, the CEO Bike Build.
The Merlo FJ Cruiser kickstarted the fundraiser, providing beautiful coffees alongside our General Manager David Holt who attended the 4th annual CEO Bike Build with young people from Glenala SHS, Alexandra Hills SHS, Emmaus College and Villanova College.
More than 20 CEOs ‘got on the tools’ with the young people and worked alongside them to build bikes. Dave paired with a young man and found they had more in common than either of them expected.
“He’s into boxing and I’ve done boxing. We’re both into AFL and computer games… the more we chatted the more we had in common.”
The fundraising effort from participating CEOs including Dave, raised $146,362 which goes directly into scholarships for 60 more young people to experience TRACTION programs across Southeast Queensland.
TRACTION programs let kids be kids again. Show your support through by donating via the TRACTION website.
The TRACTION CEO Bike Build is one of our favourite events and we’re already looking forward to next year!
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