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CHANGE MAKER: Narrandera mum Jasmin Pietsch, with cousin Koby Quince, says TAFE NSW helped her change the trajectory of her future.
A TAFE NSW Narrandera youth work graduate whose childhood was punctuated by hardship has vowed to help break the cycle of disadvantage in her community by pushing for the town’s first ever youth centre.
Proud Wiradjuri woman Jasmin Pietsch, 26, has just completed a Certificate IV in Youth Work at TAFE NSW Narrandera and has been accepted into a Bachelor of Mental Health Science in 2022, despite never previously having owned a computer or meaningfully engaged in education.
The single mum of two said she was motivated to work with youth after being inspired by her own social worker during her difficult adolescent years.
“I had a rough upbringing and this social worker helped me move out of the family house at 17 and deal with a lot of personal issues,” Ms Pietsch said.
“I want to now give back to others who are in the same predicament as me.”
Ms Pietsch, who is pregnant with her third child, said the support she received at the TAFE NSW Narrandera Connected Learning Centre (CLC) made a profound difference to her learning journey.
“I didn’t even have access to a laptop when I started so to be able to access so much support at the CLC was amazing,” she said. “It was a culturally safe space, I was given a tutor and I was supported academically, emotionally and culturally.”
She said the qualification had fuelled her sense of purpose and Ms Pietsch will now commence a Bachelor of Mental Health Science at university next year. She hopes to eventually help set up Narrandera’s first whole-of-community youth centre.
“I want to work with multi-disciplinary teams and services to give local young people more support and lower their risk factors for suicide,” she said. “I also want to inspire other mums to consider a course at TAFE NSW Narrandera and not feel like they have to sacrifice a career to be a mum.”
The Australian Government’s Job Outlook report listed future growth for youth worker positions as “very strong”, with an average weekly pay packet of $1328 before tax.
TAFE NSW community services teacher Samantha Orth said Certificate IV graduates typically found work in community centres, residential care, school support or as a pathway to working in case management.
“Jasmin had never had a positive experience with the education system but was so passionate about creating a change for her community and has a very high emotional intelligence,” Ms Orth said.
“It was wonderful to see her growth throughout the course and she now has the practical skills and work experience to support vulnerable and at-risk young people.”
Ms Orth said both the Certificate IV and Diploma of Youth Work would be offered via virtual classroom at TAFE NSW Narrandera CLC in 2022.
For more information, call 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.
Media contact: Dan Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0477 722 428