Paige's story: sharing the journey with young people
February 2019 NSW
As a teenager, Paige experienced a difficult home life and at some stage homelessness. Later she had the opportunity to paint a mural at Blacktown Station for City Rail and she included the phrase, “When moved, we learn”. The mural resonates with her journey and the youth workers and young people she now helps at as After-Hours Response Worker at Marist180.
“Each young person will face a different struggle – and so listening to them is important. But more than that, listening builds a rapport and that helps so much in being able to guide them,” Paige said.
Paige gives the example of this relationship building. One young woman didn’t like Paige when Paige first started working with her.
“At the time she didn’t go to school and had a negative outlook on life,” Paige said.
However, over time Paige and the young woman developed a good relationship through consistency, listening and being a positive influence. The young woman eventually decided to attend school regularly and has now finished Year 10.
Paige said her work is about empowering both the young people and the youth workers.
“I offer support and guidance for the young people and/or youth workers in a manner that empowers them to be able to learn and find the answers themselves,” she said.
“It’s about planting seeds,” Paige said.
“I will never lower my expectations for the young people. They have already been through so much, and are capable of amazing things."
Marist180 is one of the Property Industry Foundation's Charity Partners. In 2017 we build PIF House Blacktown for Marist180 with Frasers Property Austraia.