So much has happened since August when I started student placement at Casino Youth Service. CYS has provided me with so much more experience than anticipated. From the moment I started I have felt like a valued part of the team. The CYS team Annika, Linda and Lee are willing to share their wealth of knowledge, not only about CYS, but also their practice wisdom. One aspect of my placement that I look forward to is transporting the young people. CYS provides transport for the CHOYSES program, Casino High School’s alternative education program for students who are at risk of disengaging with their education. CHOYSES aims to re-engage young people with education, who are at risk of dropping out of school, or not reaching their educational outcomes. Transporting the CHOYSES young people has provided opportunities to build relationships with the participants, and witness the personal growth of the young people. A particularly exciting aspect has been the interest the young people take in how my day has been, and what I have been working on. Several participants have expressed interest in joining existing CYS programs and groups; ‘cooking and Youth Action Mob’. They have also shared ideas of program ideas that would be of interest to them personally. I have begun designing several new programs for upcoming and future groups, driven by what the young people want to achieve and interests them. I am very excited about the upcoming months, and the remainder of my time at CYS. One of these programs will allow the young people to design, build and create items from recycled materials. ‘Buildit With Wood’, although still in the design stage, will provide opportunities for the empowerment of the Casino young people, by creating a sense of ownership of the group as well as the possibility of fundraising for future programs via the sale of completed projects at a popup shop. As well as providing the participants with practical skills that may lead to employment opportunities, and interaction with other community based organisations.
Teena Roberts, SCU Student