May 19, 2020

Alcoa virtual volunteers help local students

Image - Alcoa virtual volunteers
Alcoa employee volunteers share career advice with Year 11 students from the Peel region during a virtual volunteering session with Aspire UWA.

Alcoa employees are testing their digital skills during National Volunteer Week (18-24 May) by participating in virtual volunteering sessions helping students from across the Peel region.

While Alcoa’s regular group employee volunteering efforts are on hold due to the social distancing requirements relating to the coronavirus, virtual support sessions being organised by not-for-profit organisation Aspire UWA are providing another way for the company and its workers to lending a helping hand.

The Aspire UWA sessions guide students in their subject selection for years 11 and 12 while also attempting to demystify the university entrance ranking process and other considerations when thinking about tertiary studies such as accommodation, scholarships and alternative entry pathways.
Alcoa employees Johann Reps and Mark Blagden shared their study and career stories during a recent virtual session in a bid to encourage more local students to consider a tertiary education.

“Sharing our personal experiences and career changes hopefully provided the participants with an understanding that their career path is not set in stone and that there are a range of opportunities to pursue,” Johann said.

“Having the opportunity to provide any level of guidance and support to someone as their career journey begins is a privilege that I hope to experience again.”

he Alcoa Foundation has been supporting the delivery of the Aspire UWA program in high schools across the Peel region since 2016. The partnership aims to help address the Peel region’s lower than average educational attainment levels and high youth unemployment rate.

Aspire UWA program participating schools include Austin Cove Baptist College, Byford Secondary College, Coodanup College, Foundation Christian College, Frederick Irwin Anglican School, Gilmore College, Halls Head College, Harvey Senior High School, John Tonkin College, Kolbe Catholic College, Mandurah Baptist College, Mandurah Catholic College, Pinjarra Senior High School, Rockingham Senior High School, Safety Bay Senior High School, Waroona District High School and Warnbro Community High School.

To find out more about UWA’s Aspire program, visit
Media contact: Cheri Tiglias, Corporate Affairs Adviser,