CELEBRATIONS: The Smith Family Queensland general manager Alan Le May celebrates one year of The Smith Family in Gladstone with Learning for Life recipient Josh Hicks.
CELEBRATIONS: The Smith Family Queensland general manager Alan Le May celebrates one year of The Smith Family in Gladstone with Learning for Life recipient Josh Hicks. Photo: Jessica Perkins

How The Smith Family changed Josh's life

LEARNING for Life program recipient and youth worker Josh Hicks is incredibly grateful for the support he received from The Smith Family in his teenage years.

Mr Hicks said the The Smith Family helped him to feel like he was able to fit in with his peers and receive necessary support.

"Not having textbooks and those sorts of things was a big motivator for my mum to ask if she could go on a payment plan...and then she was redirected to The Smith Family,” he said.

"It was a strain on the whole family and the weight lifted off Mum's shoulders was a weight lifted off our shoulders.”

Mr Hicks now acts as a liaison officer for The Smith Family and directs students at Toolooa State High School to their programs on offer.

"It's been pretty special to be able to give back like that,” he said.

Mr Hicks said one student told him she wanted to attend university after she graduated high school.

"That never would've been anywhere near the table if it wasn't for the Smith Family,” he said.

"That is so cool to see...it is amazing,” Mr Hicks said.

Josh's mother Sue Hicks said as a single mother, the support her three children received from The Smith Family was offered in a time of need and was appreciated.

"You couldn't even get school books unless you'd paid the fee to get your books,” she said.

"It was embarrassing...the kids hated going with no books because everybody else had theirs.

"(The Smith Family) helped and even gave them their uniforms...it was huge,” she said.

Josh aims to continue helping local students in the region find support through The Smith Family programs.



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