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Name

Alissa Holton - Foundation for Young Australians

Video URL
Tue 4 July 2017
Duration
2:58
Audio description
Transcript

My name is Alissa Holton. I work for the Foundation for Young Australians and we work for young people all across this country aged between the ages of 12 to 26. Young people who are interested in serving their community, young people who are interested in making their lives better through future-focused education and young people who are changing the world one step at a time.

Young people want to make a difference in this country in all types of ways. They want to be passionate about causes that are important to them, passionate about causes that are important to their friends and family and passionate about causes that are important to the world. They're interested in global action, getting involved locally and nationally and they do that through using digital media. They do that through opening up and creating their own not-for-profit organisations and most importantly they do that by getting behind their friends and behind causes that are important to them and volunteering.

The key to engaging young people in any type of volunteering is to keep it regular, to keep it affordable and to keep it dynamic. So make sure that there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and that there aren't too many barriers to that involvement and especially make sure that young people feel like they're connecting to a cause that's important to them. Most young people are looking for three things. They're looking for the opportunity to really get clear about their intention and purpose in the world. They're looking for networks of like-minded people who can they can leverage off of and they're also looking for opportunities to gain capabilities and operating skills in the world of careers and the workforce.

So if you can potentially deliver on those three things for a young person then they're bound to want to deliver for you. I was a young volunteer myself and I kind of have learned over the years that there are three things that I really needed to have in order to be successful in my role as a young person in the community. The first one is the chance to do something and I was very lucky that plenty of people opened the doors for me and welcomed me into their places and spaces. The second thing is that I felt like I was motivated to do something and I wanted to get involved and then the third thing was that I knew how to do things. Now the how-to is the hard part and I will tell you that many, many times along the way I fell down in terms of what I thought I knew or what I needed to know or what I actually needed to get done and volunteering gave me the opportunity to actually fail and fail fast, to take risks, to meet and learn from mentors and community people in my networks.

By welcoming a young person as a volunteer into your organisation you are actually also making a contribution to the community. Young people these days are looking for opportunities to be of service they're also looking for opportunities to get experience in places and spaces where they might eventually have careers. So open your doors, be willing to accept a young person into your home, to speak and help them to be on the pathway to a better future for themselves and their generation.