Later enrolling her son Bradley, as well as encouraging several of her nieces and nephews who she cares for to participate, has meant that Donna has seen first hand the benefits of the program.
“I can absolutely say that without the program none of these kids would have done as well as they did, regardless of how smart they were,” she said.
“Like most parents – regardless of cultural background – I was at a loss on how to help my kids with their home work,” she said. “The home work centre makes them focus, it gives them a place to go too if they are experiencing problems at home, where they can still progress their studies.”
Donna has high praise for the program co-ordinator Garry Dagg, with her children developing a relationship built on trust which eventually saw Garry become a mentor to the students and an important adult figure outside of the immediate family.
“You need someone like Daggs running it; someone friendly, easy going who puts the kids in good spirit.
“The only downfall I could see with the program was the way some non-Indigenous kids were jealous of the extra help the Follow the Dream students received,” she said.
“It would be good if everything could be equal and everyone who wanted too could get a chance to participate, so the kids start building stronger relationships across the borders.”
Donna looks back at her own years at school and wishes she had done better.
“I could blame bad teachers and a whole host of things which went on in the 70s, but it doesn’t change the fact that if I’d done better at school I would have a got a better job and life would have been different.
“You always want what’s best for your kids.”