The NRL's School to Work program has been boosted by a $25,000 scholarship provided by DoorDash, aimed at helping participants cover necessary expenses while moving into further education or employment.
This season the NRL launched the Know the Numbers campaign which raised awareness around key statistics impacting Indigenous communities in Australia.
There is currently a 25 per cent gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students completing high school. DoorDash’s $25,000 scholarship will help the School to Work program to close this gap.
The funding is designed to provide each student with practical items or assistance to achieve their goals for school completion and beyond, according to NRL School to Work program manager Charmaine Piper.
"DoorDash has put together a scholarship program for us which will help us ensure there are no financial barriers to students completing their HSC and pursuing further education or employment," Piper said.
"With approximately $150 per student, this program will secure essential items like textbooks, work boots, IT equipment or even phone credit that might be out of reach for some students.
"We haven't had a scholarship like this before. This is an external scholarship program that adds extra value to our students at an incremental level.
"We are excited to see the positive impact this will have on each of our students during their transition period from school."
DoorDash is the official on-demand delivery partner of the NRL, as well as the naming rights sponsor of the Indigenous Round. DoorDash has shown from the outset of their sponsorship a commitment to contribute to equality at all levels of the game.
“It was incredibly important for us as a values-led business to be able to contribute to the NRL community in a meaningful way, especially in the first year of our partnership," said Michael McCash, Senior Manager, Growth Marketing at DoorDash.
"Our commitment to progressing equality and opportunity is a key driver in every arm of our business, so this is a very exciting programme for us. We can’t wait to hear how the funds have made a difference.
The $25,000 in scholarship funding will be split between 13 project officers, who will assess the needs of students to ensure they are not disadvantaged in being able to take the next step in their study or employment goals, and then help the students with the application process.
“We are excited to be working with DoorDash to deliver this extra support to the NRL School to Work program,” NRL Head of Partnerships, Jaymes Boland-Rudder, said.
“The NRL’s School to Work program has helped thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boys and girls finish high school and transition into further studies or employment.
"We have a strong focus on using rugby league as a vehicle to deliver social change and encourage all our partners to do likewise.
“I am very pleased DoorDash have supported the School to Work program in such a practical manner, by providing $25,000 of funding that can help remove barriers to young Indigenous Australians who are completing their studies.
“Together, sport, business and government can help close the gap and ensure Indigenous Australians have the same educational opportunities as non-Indigenous Australians."