Enabling youth with opportunity, Geelong Youth Power celebrates one year

It has been a year since Centacare launched the Geelong Youth Power program. The program provides support for young people aged between 15-25, looking to improve their health and wellbeing, explore career pathways or enter into education and training.

Geelong Youth Power has received a positive response since launching last April, with over 60 youth engaging within the program and new referrals continuously being received.

Offered throughout the program is one on one support, guiding young people to identify goals and work towards achieving these goals using a holistic approach.

Youth Worker Geraldine Pompei, explains the individualised support offered in the program,

“The most salient concerns from young people have been about social isolation, anxiety and wellbeing and how to manage this within an employment and education/training context. Many young people find it a challenge to make meaningful connections in the community and this can be exacerbated by life circumstances and ill mental health.”

“Together we identify strategies and tools to assist the young person to thrive, grow and establish a sense of wellbeing and hope. Self-determination is also an important outcome and building confidence in decision making processes and gaining the tools and skills to assist them makes a huge impact on their lives”.

There have been many highlights for the program over the past year, enabling young people with a range of different pathways,

“I have so many highlights as I like to celebrate all the goals that the young people achieve, whether its gaining employment after their persistent efforts, finding housing and stability after a time of uncertainty, or finding the courage to enroll in a course that will help them achieve their dreams” said Geraldine.

For some, the desired pathway was to further education and with the assistance of the program, Geelong youth were enrolled in Bachelor Degrees, Diplomas, Hospitality Courses and training in a variety of trades.

For others, gaining employment was priority and youth power participants have commenced employment across many local businesses including Swissport, Timbertruss, Quicksilver, Break Bakery, Geelong Cats, Cotton On, Australia Post, various cafes, supermarkets and fast food outlets.

The importance of providing services such as Geelong Youth Power for disengaged young people and creating opportunities to connect with education, training, employment or assisting to improve health and wellbeing in an appropriate environment is reiterated by Geraldine,

“It is vitally important not to leave our young people behind and Geelong Youth Power supports young people to find their own innovative and creative ways to engage meaningfully in their lives and the community. Young people are our future, they are innovators and agents of change and I am inspired daily by their character and resilience”.

For more information about the Geelong Youth Power Program, please contact us on 1300 303 988.