Harnessing youthful energy to boost our work
While most Year 12 students are focussed on study and surviving their final year of school, Mandy Petros is broadening her horizons by volunteering as a youth advocate with the Brotherhood’s ReSource Youth program.
Mandy, aged 17, is one of several youth advocates who share ideas and provides input to program organisers.
ReSource aims to support young people of refugee, migrant and asylum seeker backgrounds, aged 15–25, to take part in the community and get the skills they need to study and gain work.
Being a youth advocate is aligned with Mandy’s other extra-curricular interests. She is school captain at St Monica’s College and has led fundraisers and other social justice events.
Mandy’s parents migrated to Australia from Iraq in 1995. “From a very young age, I’ve wanted to study politics and the law. When I was four I said I wanted to be prime minister of Australia,” she says.
She was particularly inspired to work with the Brotherhood after attending a leadership workshop for young people.
“I think the Brotherhood is a great organisation because it’s not-for-profit and the work with refugees and asylum seekers resonated with me.”
The youth advocates team assisted with organising sessions on mental health, resume writing, social and recreational events and workshops. Zara Al-Hasany, Youth Coach with the program, says the input from young advocates is key to its success.
“Having a team of youth advocates is invaluable as they have been instrumental in influencing, designing and facilitating activities for young people. They ensure our program is relevant, engaging and meets the needs and interests of young people”.
“It’s like a little family vibe here, and I’m surrounded by good people,” says Mandy.