• Nicolle Applewhite, Youth Outreach Worker

Youth outreach inspires young women

St John’s Care manages a youth program called Raw Potential Canberra. It is a youth outreach service that supports and advocates for some of our young Canberrans between the ages of 12-25 who are currently facing hardship and stressful issues in their lives.

Raw Potential Canberra acknowledges how our young people must be feeling during these tough times. As a youth worker with the program I know that a young person often just needs someone to talk to or a guide in the right direction.

I recently teamed up with Katie, a youth worker with Y-engage, another amazing youth outreach service supporting young people in the Northside of Canberra. We recognised a gap in support services for young female clients and decided to challenge this by creating a support group for young women.

As young women are the focus of the group, it was important to ask our young female clients for their advice, opinions and suggestions on what they would like from a service to better support their well-being and self-esteem. With their feedback we formed the group called Girls Unight.

Girls Unight is a support network group held once a month during late afternoons. The group creates an environment which allows diverse young women between the ages of 12-25 a safe space to express themselves. It provides resources and information on issues they may be facing, and facilitates empowerment activities that help to build self-esteem in young women and girls.

This month our girls’ focus was on self-care. It is important that we treat ourselves every now and again. Unfortunately, for some of our young women, there is not always an opportunity to do that.

For our first Girls Unight meeting, we gave our beautiful girls the chance to let their hair down! This was thanks to Enesa at Finesse Hair, a young female business owner who owns her own hair salon in Gungahlin.

Enesa and her team voluntarily allowed us to host Girls Unight at their hair salon and cut and styled all their hair. It is important to highlight that some of our young women have not had the opportunity to get their hair cut or styled for a significant amount of time.

This small act of kindness not only enormously boosted their self-esteem and confidence, but also inspired them and demonstrated to the girls that they can achieve their ambitions of becoming a small business owner.

Keep an eye out for our next Girls Unight on our Raw Potential Facebook page.

Items required for SJC: Pasta Sauce, Shampoo, Conditioner, 1 litre long life milk, cereal

Nicolle Applewhite, Raw Potential Youth Outreach Worker

(Photo: Girls Unight at Finesse Hair)

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