Warwick police Constable Claire Mackie, crime prevention co-ordinator Constable Sarah Ellis and Youth Connections officer Travis Maguire at the launch.
Warwick police Constable Claire Mackie, crime prevention co-ordinator Constable Sarah Ellis and Youth Connections officer Travis Maguire at the launch.

Steering troubled teens right

ATTAINMENT. It was a hard word to miss at the launch of Youth Connections, a new service aimed at helping troubled young students get back on the path to success.

Youth Connections officer Travis Maguire spoke passionately about the aim of the Federal Government-funded program – as well as that ‘A’ word.

“We’re really looking to make a connection with disengaged youth and help them with attainment – whether that is attaining their Year 12 certificate, qualifications, employment or simply attaining better social skills,” Mr Maguire said.

The program is run by the Southern Downs Industry Education Association (SDIEA) – an organisation known well within the Warwick State High School walls, but not so much in the community.

SDIEA general manager Jackie Robertson told those assembled at the launch at Bryson’s Place on Thursday – including Southern Downs Regional councillors and school professionals – what the organisation aimed to achieve.

“We help 600 students and their families per year – we started off as a very small team of one, now we have eight,” Mrs Robertson said.

“I am very proud of the very diverse team committed to making the lives of young people better.”

Programs include Get Set For Work, which prepares students for employment aged 15 to 17 who are not attending school or TAFE for employment through accredited training.

One noticeable project from the Get Set For Work participants includes revamping the old Church of Christ hall on the corner of Wood and Wantley streets.

“The kids did it all themselves with the help of a qualified builder – new kitchen, plumbing, the works,” Mrs Robertson said.

Learn more at www.sdiea.org.au



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