Jenna an in­spi­ra­tion

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

JENNA Woods dropped out of high school, fell preg­nant to an abu­sive part­ner and looked af­ter her sick mother all be­fore her 17th birth­day.

It is fair to say the 23-year-old did not have an easy start to adult­hood but what she now does for young peo­ple is amaz­ing.

She re­cently led the Youth Lead­er­ship Round­table at the Youth Part­ner­ship Project (YPP) sum­mit, at­tended by more than 100 young peo­ple.

The YPP is an ini­tia­tive fo­cused on sup­port­ing the most vul­ner­a­ble young peo­ple. It uses the voices of young peo­ple to help oth­ers.

Ms Woods grew up in Gos­nells and said she saw many gaps in the sys­tem in terms of sup­port for young peo­ple.

“I didn't get very much from the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, it just didn't work for me,” she said.

“I went to a few schools then dropped out in the sec­ond week of Year 11.”

“Dur­ing this time, I re­alised that there needs to be more sup­port for young peo­ple and when told about the Youth Part­ner­ship Project, I saw this as the op­por­tu­nity to im­ple­ment that.”

By work­ing with YPP she hoped young peo­ple would be given stronger in­put into youth ser­vices.

She hoped de­ci­sion mak­ers in gov­ern­ment, not-for-profit and com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions would have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the real life ex­pe­ri­ences of young peo­ple in the area and shape their pro­grams ac­cord­ingly.

“I see this project as an op­por­tu­nity to change the way that youth ser­vices are de­liv­ered and get the youth voice out there,” she said.

“I be­lieve this will pro­duce more ef­fec­tive out­comes for young peo­ple in that they will be given the op­por­tu­nity to shape the ser­vices that they use so that th­ese ser­vices can best suit their needs.”

Do you know an inspiring per­son aged 1025? Send us an email to south­erngazette@com­mu­ni­tynews.com.au.

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Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

Young leader Jenna Woods, of Gos­nells.

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