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Needs Versus Wants

Title – Needs Versus Wants

By – Carla Baxter

    One of the extra-curricular activities I am engaged in is acting as a coordinator for the Indigenous & Torres Strait Islander background students attending this school. As they are considered a disadvantaged group, at times the government issues special funding incentives to assist in improving their educational outcomes. Recently one initiative that was funded is to improve attendance . To encourage these students to improve attendance or reward good attendance, it was decided that a reward process would be implemented. Students could choose something/anything they wanted to a certain monetary value and if they achieved that target, I would organize their reward.

    A 13-year-old boy achieved the first attendance target. I asked him to think about what he would like. He responded almost instantly, “I don’t have to think about it, I know what I want”. He pointed down to his shoddy runners (gym shoes) and said, “I would love a new pair of shoes.” I was taken by this simple request. Most boys that age would ask for a DVD, CD, football, etc. Something they wanted, not something they needed. I had been working on reports all that week and this simple request just blew me away. It was a refreshing breath of fresh air. It restored my belief that to have the latest technology or such is not everything. I took him shopping three days later and he got his shoes. My faith in humanity has been restored. This boy will become a future world citizen. Hopefully there are more like him.

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Carla Baxter

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