Scholarship recipient steps into leadership role to connect his community

Posted: Tue, 18th September 2018 | Written by: The Team at Western Chances

James Kot values the power of community connections, which have helped him to settle into Australia. As part of his numerous leadership roles, he inspires and supports others to connect and engage with their community.

Scholarship recipient steps into leadership role to connect his community

Scholarship recipient James came to Australia in 2013, from South Sudan. He learnt to speak English at the Western English Language School and is now completing a Certificate III in Further Study as his Pathway to University.

James is known for his strong leadership skills in community activities, including as a leader of youth programs for the Western Young People’s Independent Network (WYPIN). After two years on the committee, he was elected chairperson in 2018.

“WYPIN is a youth led organisation made up of diverse young people from 12-25 years old. In my role with WYPIN, I support settlement programs for newly arrived young people in the western region of Melbourne. I support the young people as a peer leader, to work together as a team, feel confident and connected to their community. I have worked with schools through WYPIN’s peer education program and through engagement programs run by Victoria Polytechnic.”

Driven to inspire and connect with others, James has a long list of community participation and leadership roles.

“I have also fulfilled a secretary role with Wyndham Ambassadors for Multicultural Youth. Through my experiences I have worked with many organisations and councils including Western Bulldogs Community Foundation, Micare, Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre, Maribyrnong Youth Services and Brimbank Youth Services. I’m now running a soccer team which comprises more than 30 people in Wyndham. Wyndham Youth United FC is under the Wyndham Sports Youth Leadership and Network.”

James received his first Western Chances scholarship in 2017 when he was recognised for his sincere commitment to education, community leadership and peer support. He was awarded funds to purchase a laptop to assist with his tertiary studies and funding for a  MYKI to travel from his home in Wyndham Vale to VU at Footscray . James was successful in having his scholarship renewed in 2018 and again when he received funding for textbooks and MYKI.

“Western Chances has supported me in so many ways. The scholarship supported me with my MYKI so I could travel to school and all around Western Suburbs running the programs where I support other young people and learn from them. The scholarship also helped me to make a film this year together with the Western Bulldogs. I could not imagine making this film this year and having a yearly MYKI without a Western Chances Scholarship.”

With an impressive record of achievement behind him already, James has yet further aspirations to fulfil his Big Dream for the future.

“I enjoy working with different people from different backgrounds and meeting new people. I am interested in politics and I’m so ambitious about becoming a future leader one day. I want to study Humans Rights law to be able to know how different tribes or cultures work.”

We’re proud to have James as a valued member of the Western Chances family.

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