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Monday, July 15, 2024

Young Cairns women shine in mentoring program

SEVEN young Cairns women are among the 71 people who are graduating from Project Booyah programs across Queensland this week.

The 16-week police mentoring program is focused on supporting young people at risk of offending or disengaging from education.

Project Booyah is run by Queensland Police Service in partnership with the Police Community and Youth Club (PCYC), and the local community, and provides mentorship, leadership, education, adventure-based learning and vocational pathways.

The graduates took part in adventure based learning activities, including canyoning, high ropes, and rock climbing, as well as barista training and driving lessons.

Cairns Project Booyah Cairns Co-ordinator Police Liaison Officer Charlene Stacey said the group has learned valuable skills which has helped them re-engage in school.

“It’s to help these girls step outside of their comfort zone, it really helps push them beyond their limits to help them grow, do things and challenge themselves,” Charlene said.

“They’ve come a long way and I’m incredibly proud of them.”

Sarah is one of this semester’s graduates and says the program has helped her reconnect with her schooling, and she’s developed a passion for the outdoors.

“I’d really like to do some kind of outdoor recreation, like canyoning, because that’s fun and enjoyable to me,” Sarah said.

“Even though I didn’t know these girls at the start I’ve really learned to trust them and I’m going to care for them.”

More than 970 young people have graduated from Project Booyah programs since 2016.

Since 2022, approximately two thirds of participants continue further education or training, while 30 per cent obtain employment through the program.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Mareeba Multicultural Festival’s new committee members and Volunteers requested at Atherton Hospital.

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