Youths given the power to choose
IT CAN be hard for disengaged youths to choose the right path when they come to a fork in the road, but Project Booyah is sending them in the right direction.
Project Booyah has been running in Rockhampton for nine months and has a graduation success rate of around 80%.
Rockhampton Project Booyah Coordinator Senior Constable Joe Ramsay said although it takes the teens a while to warm up to the program, they soon embrace it with open arms.
"At the beginning there is a lot of apprehension and 'what am I getting myself into?', because there's police involved," Snr Con Ramsay said.
"Once they get into the program and see what it's like, they full immerse themselves and they can see the benefits of it and want to get through the program."
Project Booyah runs two days every week and not only helps youths in the classroom, but gives them practical education to ensure they can be successful in the work force.
"One day of the week is in a class room environment, we have a teacher come along and teach them numeracy and literacy skills," Snr Con Ramsay said.
"The other day of the week is at CQU at the TAFE, we put them through a Cert I in hospitality.
"That's just getting them to look at how they communicate with people and giving them skills they can use pretty much anywhere in the world"
Snr Constable Ramsay described the situations some of the participants come from as "diverse and sometimes pretty heartbreaking", but the program presents them with the power to choose their own path.
"We're getting them at the fork in the road so to speak, so they're making the choice 'I can go this way with some of my friends, or I can choose this way'."
"Some of our participants have been through the court system, but it's for lower level stuff.
"In saying that, we're giving them another opportunity where we can say again to them, we're giving you this opportunity.
Go to www.projectbooyah.com.au for more information.