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Project Booyah baristas give back to community

Joey Taddei manning the Booyah Bean Team Coffee Van

PCYC Queensland’s Project Booyah have changed the lives of many young people – and now they have completed the program, many are using their newly-acquired skills to give back to the community.

Joey Taddei, 16, of Labrador, was one of four baristas of choice in the Booyah Bean Team Coffee Van at Gold Coast Homeless Connect, an event coordinated by Gold Coast Homelessness Network, on August 2, after completing a Cert I in Hospitality while in the program.

“Serving at this event was a lot of fun and good experience making coffee and serving people. I felt helpful being able to give back to the community and contribute to the day,” Joey said.

“It was a great way to give back to the community; it was good to give back using the experience I have gained through Project Booyah. It was also good to network, and to get experience to get a job in hospitality.”

Project Booyah, a program delivered in partnership with the QPS aimed at young people at risk of becoming disengaged, is a 20-week course which involves guidance, training, and activities focusing on allowing young people to make positive change in their life.

The keen group of baristas all achieved their Cert I in Hospitality through the program, as well as learning a range of other skills.

“We did something different every week,” Joey said.

“We made a pizza oven, visited the army base, made coffees and learned about hospitality, played some sport, visited the beach and had a BBQ and we went rock climbing.

“I feel more support now after the program and have a more positive relationship with my family. I also received a certificate in hospitality that helped me in gaining the opportunity to be involved in the Homeless Connect event. It may also lead to other jobs.”

PCYC Queensland CEO Phil Schultz said it was pleasing to see past participants of the project thriving.

“Project Booyah really gives young people the ability to kick goals for themselves and overcome challenges of the past,” Mr Schultz said.

“They make connections and feel a sense of belonging in their groups, and learn things such as financial literacy, conflict resolutions, and the aim is to provide outcomes for each individual in education, training or employment.

“These young people, along with many who have gone through the program, have overcome challenges to be where they are now and it’s so rewarding to see them giving back to the community.”

Participants who complete Project Booyah are then mentored for 18 months after they graduate under the Framing the Future program.

Senior Constable Leonie Burridge, State Project Coordinator for Framing the Future, said seeing past participants making plans for their lives and volunteering at community events was rewarding and inspiring.

“I know that when young people finish Project Booyah they feel really positive. Seeing the young people coming back after the program finishes to volunteer really shows that they enjoyed the program, that they remain engaged with it, and want to promote the program – it is so positive,” Senior Constable Burridge said.

“It is also giving them experience, shows initiative and is something which will look great on their resume too.”

Today, PCYC Queensland supports more than 74,000 members across 54 branches from the tip of Cape York to the Gold Coast hinterland.

Anyone can assist PCYC Queensland in its vision to build safer, healthier communities by donating – find out more at www.pcyc.org.au.

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