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25 August 2023 | Disability

Happy decade of dedication to young people

Teena Ryder is a talented and passionate support worker at YJET in Caboolture who has been with the program for 10 years. To celebrate her decade of dedication, we sat down to find out what drives her.

Youth Justice Education Training (YJET) helps at-risk young people get back on their feet.  The program supports young people aged 14-16 improve their literacy and numeracy in a flexible, supportive, and youth-friendly environment, with a focus on becoming job-ready or reintegrating back into mainstream schooling. 

What have been the highlights of your time with YJET? 

I really believe there is good in every day. I think the overall highlights though are the small wins we see each and every single day in YJET. Our young people are amazing and watching them learn something new or have success with different things, even the small things, keeps me motivated each and every day to keep on being the best I can to the young people. Our young people deserve to have a champion in their lives, a person who will never give up on them and will always be there.

What do you think is the success factors for the program?

I think the success of YJET is our small class size and the use of placement students to keep our student to worker ratio high. Students are able to work at their own pace at a level that they are at (that slightly challenges them). Our students have a say in most things from our class rules, to what they would like to learn in life skills, to the set up of the room.

What do you hope you can achieve in the future for the program? 

My dream for YJET is to have a larger space with lots of greenery and places for people to do hands-on activities (such as caring for animals, gardening, adventure-based activities) that push them out of their comfort zone. The dream YJET space would also include accommodation for those young people who need it.

What do you draw on for inspiration? 

This one is easy – our young people are who inspire my work each and every day. They are so insightful and honest and regularly provide feedback on what they want now and into the future.

Teena Ryder, Support Worker (middle) with Sarah Souter, acting Service Manager at Intercept (left) and Chris Seiboth, Executive Lead of Community Services (right)

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