This paper describes work in progress on an innovation for educationally disadvantaged young people who have expressed a desire to change their life situation. The Street Kids Access Tertiary Education (SKATE) program seeks to offer students social, psychological and educational support and encourage their participation in mainstream education, and particularly into higher education. The young people involved in the program have known educational and social disadvantage, and have often experienced life on the streets as well as physical and mental abuse. This paper focuses on the students' perceptions of education and themselves as students and learners. It also focuses on the students' perceptions of the educational opportunities and life options available to them and includes information about the present educational destinations of students.