Register to take a pause from alcohol, sugar or something of your choice and then get others to sponsor you. Every dollar raised funds vital support for disadvantaged young Australians.

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Find out more about febfast

As well as bringing you febfast each year, Youth Support + Advocacy Service (YSAS) is Victoria’s leading youth-specific community service organisation with a vision of a world where all young people are valued, included and have every opportunity to thrive.

YSAS is committed to putting young people first and in 2016 alone, has enabled over 8000 individual young people experiencing serious disadvantage to access the resources and support required to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

Check out a couple of YSAS youth worker profiles below and find out why they do what they do and how your fundraising helps them to do more.

Michael - Youth Worker Profile

 

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I created a list years ago with a bunch of golden rules on how I want to operate within my life. It ranges from things like “always be clear and upfront about what you want”, to “get some sunshine every day”. I shared it with a young person one day after they had had an absolutely horrible day – they had come so far in the past 6 months and this one day threatened to bring it all undone.

After reading my list they pulled out their pen and added to it: “give credit where credit is due”. For some reason, that’s always sat with me as something so special. I can’t really explain why, but if you knew the background of this person and their relationships with people it was just a powerful moment.

I’ve always made sure that good work goes recognised after that – in a work perspective and my personal life. How often do you tell someone when they have done well? I think we focus too much on the bad sometimes.

My work basically means I get to hang out with young people every day, many of which inspire me. I get to play a part in the bigger picture of their life and support them to achieve their goals. Having stumbled my way out of an incomplete law degree, I had no idea what I wanted to do with myself when I was younger. After a week of working in a youth work setting, I knew I would be doing it for the rest of my life. It’s given me purpose, passion and allowed me to support a cause much greater than myself.

The best part of my work is meeting people who inspire, educate and change my perspectives on things. Meeting such strong people who have faced adversity daily is such a grounding experience. I’m so inspired by the people who have faced extreme adversity and can still find a smile.

This febfast, I’ll be giving up all technology, I feel as though a month to reconnect with the physical word, as well as reading and writing, would be really beneficial and for a great cause! I think febfast is a great opportunity for all Australians to to break the mould of day to day life. Patterns are great, however complacency in these patterns limits creativity, drive and desire to try new things.

The human experience is about a world that transcends comfort zones and social norms, the moments in which we learn the most about ourselves are when were placed in positions we are unfamiliar with. One month of giving up a vice, or trying something socially conscious seems like a pretty sweet deal to play a part in helping so many people.

Shari - Youth Worker Profile

shari_YSAS_youthworker“It feels like a real privilege to be a part of the young person’s life as they go through their journey, I feel very lucky to share this time with them.”

It can sometimes feel difficult to explain the role of a youth worker succinctly, as the work they do feels varied and changes each day – though this is to be expected, as each young person they work with presents with a range of individual experiences and needs.

YSAS Youth Worker, Shari, describes her role as “working alongside young people in a way that supports and encourages them to realise their rights and abilities, keeping their best interests in mind at all times.”

It always warms our hearts at YSAS when we hear the language that youth workers use to describe their work. Shari tells us, “it feels like a real privilege to be a part of the young person’s life as they go through their journey, I feel very lucky to share this time with them.”

The most important thing to her is that young people feel heard, cared for, supported and encouraged, like they have someone they can rely on and be their authentic selves. To us, it sounds like Shari sees her role as being that of a caring big sister – someone to be there for young people, celebrating their wins and supporting them through the tough times.

“When I think back to moments I’ve really enjoyed, I think about the times I’ve sat and done puzzles with young people, or taken them for a drive to see the beach for the first time. I also really like dancing with them and just spending time together.”

Shari’s passion for working with young people shines through in everything she says. It’s not only about helping young people in need, but about seeing them reach their potential and having a great time together as they grow.

“I feel inspired by the stories of each young person I meet, and get strength from the compassionate, committed colleagues I work alongside every day.”

This February, Shari will give up sugar or caffeine. She relies heavily on both as she does shift work, so she thinks it will be interesting to see what happens without them for one month. She understands the important role febfasters play in the lives of young people – without them and the funds they raise, reaching as many young people as YSAS youth workers do each year would be much harder.

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