Toyota Community Trust has marked two years since its inception with a meeting of all beneficiaries, sharing learnings and celebrating the milestone at the Toyota Centre of Excellence in Altona.
Initiated through a $32 million endowment, the Toyota Community Trust was created by Toyota Australia in October of 2017 to honour the legacy of its proud history of local manufacturing in Australia.
Since its creation, the Trust has provided over $1.5 million worth of grants to 21 beneficiaries to encourage and inspire young people in Melbourne’s West to pursue further study and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
The beneficiaries of grants provided by the Toyota Community Trust are making a difference in the next generation through a number of STEM related projects. For example, the Trust’s very first grant recipient, Western Chances, has provided 54 scholarships to students aged 12-25 years using Trust funding, resulting in a long-term impact on the lives of many talented and motivated young people in Melbourne’s West.
“Western Chances has given me the opportunity to continue my studies, without your help I would not have been able to pay for my textbooks. I am forever grateful, it has been very hard for me living on my own, thank you for all you have done for me,” said one grateful recipient.
The two-year milestone of the Trust coincides with the announcement of the latest round of grant recipients: Australian Science Innovations, Science Gallery Melbourne, Robokids and Little Scientists Australia.
Australian Science Innovations: a national association which provides innovative and challenging science programs, competitions and residential camps for high achievers. The Toyota grant will fund 12 additional girls to attend the Curious Minds Program, a national girls-only program that combines two residential camps with a six-month STEM coaching program.
Science Gallery Melbourne: a dynamic new model for engaging more young people into STEM disciplines. It focuses on inspiring the minds of young Australians aged 15-25 with science and art, harnessing the passion of young people into real-world leaning opportunities and career pathways. It will develop and deliver “Disposable: reimagining waste” with local schools.
Robokids: STEM robotics workshops in schools and previously ran a successful project in schools using a grant from the Trust. Toyota funding will give Robokids the ability to continue to bring robotics to life through an additional two projects – a program in the new Footscray Learning Precinct and a program including schools in Sydney’s Campbelltown region who are underrepresented in STEM and robotics education.
Little Scientists Australia: a national STEM professional development program for early childhood educators and teachers working with children aged 3-6 years which has done great work as a previous grant recipient. Using Toyota funding, Little Scientists Australia will deliver workshops on STEM for educators working with young children in Wyndham and in a regional area.