Kyle was going nowhere at school. He couldn't see the point. An introvert, he hid behind long hair and his beloved computer screen, where he could do what he really enjoyed - gaming.
Concerned about her son's future, Kyle's mum sought out other schooling options. She discovered Big Picture Education.
Big Picture has designed a learning approach which taps into disengaged students' passions, identifies their talents, and blends school-based learning with outside experiences, such as regular work placements and mentoring.
For Kyle the key was gaming. Through Big Picture he discovered the maths behind gaming codes and is now doing the advanced maths needed to pursue a career in one of the world's growth industries - gaming design.
"In mainstream I didn't feel as if I was learning what I needed to learn," Kyle said. "But over the past year I've got a plan of where I'm going to go when I'm older. I plan on going to year 12 here, get my Cert 3 in IT and then go off to university."
Not only does Kyle now have a plan, but he has a whole new outlook.
"I wake up in the morning and get to do what I love and learn what I love instead of doing boring stuff. Last year I had my hair in my face, it was very long. But now… I feel like I can be me a bit more."
And Kyle's mum couldn't be happier. "Even his body, his posture - you can see he's starting to take pride in himself and in his work," she said.
Our Foundation has provided Big Picture Education Australia with a long term grant of $870,000 over three years to help accumulate the research which proves their model works in Australia.
They achieve exceptionally high student attendance rates (94% on average) and very low drop-out rates (2% on average).
By helping Big Picture in this way, we're helping them tap into long-term funding, making their model sustainable, and helping more kids, just like Kyle.