Students at community not-for-profit SMYL have completed their Certificate II in Horticulture with an impressive 100 per cent retention rate for the year. SMYL’s ParentsNext program works with single parents to help them develop pre-employment skills before entering the workforce. Funded by the State Government, SMYL programs are accessible to parents whose youngest child is under six-years-old and over nine-months-old. Parents from the Rockingham and Kwinana areas enrolled in the horticulture certificate were asked to take part in a community project at Medina Primary School. The project brief was to identify areas within the school that would add value. From this, parents created three different garden spaces which included a bush tucker garden, a kitchen garden and a garden for pre-primary students. During the six-month program, SMYL received a community grant from the City of Kwinana that allowed them to increase their resources for the project, including gardening equipment and seeds. Tracey Hawker, head of community programs for SMYL, said parents had been delivering some amazing work and that the program had given them an opportunity to achieve their goals. “It was a great project, the retention rate was the most impressive, I think having all people that started actually finish including one lady whose baby is actually due in a couple of weeks,” Ms Hawker said. “That community and that connection to community was the strength of the project.” “The 100 per cent retention rate for the project and connection to community is probably the main thing that actually came out of this with everybody working together,” Ms Hawker said. Graduates of the program gain friendships and skills for employment and are able to seek new employment opportunities or start their own businesses or traineeships.