by C Craig Babic
Ended on January 18th 2017
Twelve months ago my 22 year old daughter Andrea decided to fulfil her dream of becoming a school teacher, and enrolled to begin university. As a parent I was thrilled as I knew this had consumed her since leaving school. However, a career opportunity took her straight into the workforce after her HSC, and she made a choice at the time to defer her studies.
But, having personally just gone through a separation at the time, I was not in the position financially to be able to say ‘here you go darling, I have paid your fees for you!’
Although, in hindsight, I am not sure I would have, if it happened over again this year, and my circumstances were different now. However, a lot has changed since then.
I have spent the past 12 months doing massive critical thinking around this topic! And an enormous amount of research.
Obviously, I knew I was not alone:- that many other parents were in the same position and could not afford to pay the tuition for their children either.
What I also learned was there is a growing student loan debt in Australia (exceeded $30 billion in 2015, and likely to be upwards of $63 billion by 2019), and in the USA it is fast approaching one billion dollars. What is worse is that a growing number of students/ families alike who believe the answer lies in not repaying the loan (entitlement mentality), or taking as long as possible to do so, in the hope that perhaps it will be written off by the Government of the day.
This attitude is concerning, and most authorities and media seem to be focussing on the fact that education is becoming less affordable and our Governments are failing our children. It might well be that Governments are not managing the budgets to our satisfaction, but that is a separate issue.
You see, the unaffordability of tertiary education is a reality worldwide. It will neither change in the future, nor will any future Government have any semblance of a budget excess to offer to write off any student loan debts.
We all know a ‘solutions based approach’ is the only way we can really help our youth – the future of this wonderful world we live in!
So, the answer has to lie in students owning their debt, taking responsibility, and paying it off sooner, rather than later, so it does not balloon out of control, also saving them from the pressures, stresses and even depression that this debt puts them under!
Having come to this realisation over the summer months, I initially set about with one purpose in mind. How might I be able to help my daughter pay off her student loan debt?
It is a burden and stress after all, that as a parent I would love to be able to offer support in some way, so she does not have this pressure hanging over her head well after she has gained her degree.
An interesting thing happened along the way though – I began to look for answers outside the box. I started to think much more laterally.
What if there was a way I could help both my daughter and other people’s sons and daughters? What if there was a way we could all (parents) pull together and help all our children ‘improve their financial positions prior to graduation’? Let’s go even further, what if there was a way the entire community could help every student who invested in themselves to enter the workforce ‘DEBT FREE’!
By owning their debt and accelerating their repayments!
The beauty of critical thinking, when done correctly, is that you ignore the conscious mind telling you there is not currently a way this can be achieved, and you dare to challenge your sub-conscious mind to find a way!
This type of thinking, interestingly, took me back to pre-industrialisation, when it took a village to raise a child and I started to realise that our youth are feeling so isolated today. We are all so busy focussing on our own pressures, that as a society we have no time for those amongst us, or around us. It is as if the fabric of our society has fallen apart. In fact, it is not only our children who often have no-one to turn to, we are all experiencing the same problems. They, and us, in business or not, are stressed, depressed, fearful, alone, unhealthy, unhappy, scared and in debt.
What if we could identify a common solution, now that we have identified we all share a common problem, which I refer to as Isolated Connectedness!
Despite living in the most connected digital age ever, ISOLATED CONNECTEDNESS is a massive problem for everyone:- both STUDENTS as well as SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS, even the MATURE AGED members of society.
How awesome would that be – finding a common solution!
Well, I have done just that!
Pioneers of the 3rd Millennium: Australia’s First FREE Mentoring – Young Entrepreneur Incubator
Educator, facilitator, business mentors, offering 2 years FREE business building mentoring, via a world first young entrepreneur program called:
‘Disruptive Marketing – Thriving In The New World Performance Based Economy’.
This program teaches the students how to network, leverage and mastermind their way to success – building a real business whilst learning these extremely powerful business and life skills.
Lyoness Cashback Solutions: The FREE Community Cashback Loyalty Program
TBA:Optional secondary FREE Enterprise Model will be encouraged in year two, with the choice of an initiative purely at the students’ sole discretion, to further develop their skillsets for running their own businesses.However, should they wish to remain focussed on their existing business they built up in year one, then we will work on compounding the growth and scaling it up tenfold.
SME Merchant Partners: the businesses who Adopt the Students and support them
Future Youth Club: the home of the Young Entrepreneurs
MADD Legacy Mentors : Grey haired members of the community
They volunteer their time to teach our youth how to build relationships in thebusiness community, leverage small businesses, form joint ventures, strategicalliances, get referral business, etc….
We will establish Education Hubs/Networking Centres – Touch Screen Kiosks – inside local SME merchants’ businesses in each LGA in the Sydney metro areas within the next 12 months. It will be a place where students go to share the new business model, network with family, friends, peers, and members of the local community. There will be interactive screens, whiteboard animations, business videos, networking tools, etc…
It will be a place where the community connects, shares and builds their networks, as well as supporting and growing local businesses. A WIN/WIN/WIN for everyone!
Students will literally and physically build their consumer networks around these centres, showing live demonstrations of how small businesses are growing through this disruption marketing initiative that is being driven by the youth. The Millennials will be teaching Gen X and Gen Y how to promote their businesses via social media and the web.
To view the full interview from The Inspiration Show, click here:
What an absolute honour it was to launch the movement and campaign at the above event during the week. With a room full of hundreds of successful business owners at the Wesley Mission Conference Centre in the heart of downtown Sydney.
A massive thank you to Matt Alderton from Bxponential and Alderton Enterprises for supporting us on the day, and allowing me to share my vision for the youth of the world!
SO much interest was generated on the day, with so many people helping and supporting us as well!
Now, to re-focus on the real mission - to raise funds for the Touch Screen Interactive Kiosks out in the community, to re-connect the community through supporting our youth to pay off their loan debts, as well as helping small business at the same time!
We would much rather one percent support of 100 people than 100% support of one! Your donation will matter, regardless of how small or large it might be! $5 will help us towards our goal as much as $5,000 will...
Share this initiative, we need to come together and get back on track as a society:-
I know I would much rather be a part of a community that supports one another, between generations - what about you?
The next step will be bringing the campaign to your local community. As you show your support, we will come where you are asking us to come......