SevenUp Youth Centre has a new face at the head.
Twenty-two-year-old coordinator Joel Kay says he is excited by the new role and to be stepping up from assistant coordinator in previous years.
Five years of volunteering at the youth centre, coupled with experience gained through the Circular Head Youth Leaders has prepared Joel for the new venture.
“Being a leader was always a bit scary for me,” he says.
“But the little bits of experience I’ve picked up and the strong team behind me give me confidence and make me excited about the role.”
7Up is a not-for-profit organisation run in partnership with Circular Head Council, Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation, Rural Health and Smithton Christian Fellowship.
As a result, decisions about the centre are made at sub-committee meetings, giving Joel a strong support network should he need assistance.
Dudley Billing, the previous coordinator, will also be on-hand for four hours a week to help out.
“There are changes I want to make but at the end of the day I just want to be as approachable as Dudley was,” says Joel.
“He was so insanely good at being a friend to everyone that inhabited the space.”
Before picking up the role of coordinator, Joel had worked as a roadhouse attendant and a bartender at Tall Timbers. He now looks forward to focusing on his new role.
“I want to be able to use my spare time to read up on past programs and better educate myself on how things work.”
This year, Joel aims to restore the centre to its former glory and focus on upcoming kitchen renovations before establishing a program that teaches youth how to feed hungry mouths on a tight budget.
“I want to create a space for everyone and provide an avenue for youths to meet new people or just to be themselves for awhile.
“It’s especially good for the younger ones going into high school to make connections with the older kids before they make the transition.”
7Up Youth Centre is open to grades seven and up only on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 5pm.
Newly appointed SevenUp Youth Centre coordinator Joel Kay looks forward to an action packed year in his new role. Picture: Isaac Popowski.