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From PCYC participant to PCYC Youth Worker, Samarra found her passion at PCYC

Published: June 01, 2023 12:12pm

Samarra, a proud Nhanda woman, found her passion for helping young people at Geraldton PCYC.

As an Aboriginal role model to the younger girls, Samarra hopes to provide a space where the girls can have fun and explore opportunities that they normally wouldn’t have access to.

Samarra first came to Geraldton PCYC when she was eight years old to join boxing classes with her cousins, and loved the fun and supportive environment.

Her positive experience with PCYC led Samarra to later take up Ju Jitsu in High School. The classes kept Samarra busy and engaged after school – a time when other young people can get bored or find themselves in difficult situations due to a lack of things to do or safe places to go.

The Ju Jitsu classes allowed Samarra to get to know the Geraldton PCYC team, including Centre Manager Talya Quinn. Over her time at PCYC, Samarra grew closer to the staff and other young people who come to the Centre. Samarra loved spending time at PCYC and playing with the younger children, so she started volunteering to help run activities during the School Holiday Program. To Samarra, PCYC was somewhere she could belong and feel a part of.

After seeing what an asset Samarra was to PCYC, Talya suggested she apply for an administrative role at the Centre after High School. Samarra applied and got the job!

In her role, Samarra started assisting in safeSISTAS sessions. SafeSISTAS is a program for girls aged 11 to 17 where they can come together to have fun, make friends, and create relationships with female role models in the community.

By assisting in the sessions and forming relationships with the young girls, Samarra realised that her true passion lay working with young people.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do after school but after I started volunteering and working at PCYC and helping with the safeSISTAS program I realised that I love working with young people.”

She successfully applied to become an Activities Instructor at PCYC to spend more time facilitating activities and directly interacting with the children and teenagers who come to the Centre.

Samarra says that the younger Aboriginal girls love having an Aboriginal mentor as part of the program as they share the same culture and can relate to one another. Samarra even acts as a translator for the non-Indigenous staff when the girls use Aboriginal slang!

Samarra’s aim for the girls who attend safeSISTAS is “to improve their self-confidence and help them learn more about their culture and where they come from.”

Now 22 years old, Samarra is studying a Certificate IV in Youth Work at TAFE and working towards her goal of becoming a qualified Youth Worker at PCYC.