Young People Making A Difference (MAD)
A group of adults and young people got together in 2012 to discuss the need for support services for young people. It was evident that a large percentage of young people weren't responding to the services that were already being offered. Meetings were held to discuss the aim of the program, along with what issues are effecting young people. We used that information to form the basis of our program, which even after four years is continually evolving with feedback and suggestions from young people attending the program.
From 17 – 19 August 2012, a pilot program was held at Yeppoon's Activity and Recreation Centre. after evaluations from young people were collected this proved to be a very successful start, and has proven that it will be significant for Queensland. The attendees were an exceptional group of young people who pulled together in a most inspiring way to set the foundations for MAD.
"MAD showed me that I wasn't alone and I really should talk about what has happened. Not to get pity or judged, just to have someone understand"-August 2012-
In 2018 MAD's Executive committee elected one of the young leaders into the possition of President as well as Secretary making this truely a program "for young people by young people!" We have a President, Vice President, Secretary, Program Coordinator, Treasurer, Youth Advocate (16-20 years), Youth Advocate (20-24 years).
The young people feel comfortable enough to open up in front of a group and talk about some of the most extreme issues a child can face. Many make huge improvements after attending a single program.
We currently have young people attending the programs from five regions within QLD and that number is slowly increasing.
A portion of participants have dealt with their personal issues and decided to become leaders, to help new participants the way the program helped them.
MAD was awarded the Queensland Child Safety Award for 'Youth Participation" in 2015 to acknowledge our programs efforts and achievements.
MAD programs run from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. The program is run over this period to give the young people the chance to feel safe and secure within the MAD environment. It is important that this time is given to the young people so they can build the trust in each other, this begins the foundations of building a support system.
Over the weekend issues of self discovery are covered, such as effective communication, trust, self esteem goal setting, family matters, addictions, suicide awareness along with many other topics of concern. The majority of the sessions and topics are now covered by our Young Leaders. All young participants that attend MAD are linked with a support adult who starts as the primary supporter, although by the end of the weekend you have a huge support team to lean on.
- To provide a safe environment for all young people.
- To keep our program current so that it caters to the young peoples' needs.
- To not only support young people at our programs, but to provide an ongoing support system.
- To one day obtain funding to provide a free program to the young people of Australia.
What our young people think!
What our young people think!