From a young age, Tahnee Foster’s dream was to become a youth worker.
She had been working at IMPACT Community Services’ Gin Gin office as a Job Active employment consultant when she was given the opportunity to transfer to Bundaberg.
“I enjoyed the variety of working in a dual role, as training assistant and community work skills facilitator, but I wanted to help young people before they get to employment services,” Ms Foster said.
“Sometimes it’s the basic building blocks they’re missing, such as knowing what’s appropriate to wear to a job interview. More often than not, there are serious issues preventing young people from getting a job – like housing, personal safety or confidence.”
Ms Foster said her colleagues and the management team at IMPACT encouraged her to apply for a youth worker position and formalise her practical skills with a qualification.
“Flexible work hours and paid study leave enabled me to study Certificate 4 in Youth Work while working full time,” she said.
“I have been supported to progress through the organisation, and collaborate with different departments and programs. We are a big family; I love the team.”
Tahnee now helps about 30 young people a year through the Get Set for Work program.
“The thing I enjoy most about my role at IMPACT is seeing kids develop confidence professionally and personally,” she said.
“A lot of the kids I work with may be very shy, have behavioural issues, troubles at home, or problems with substance abuse.
“There is nothing more rewarding than helping them grow, feel safe, achieve a reliable income and have a stable home. It’s wonderful to help people become secure, and I get to do that as a job.”