Yarrabilba youth find TRACTION in bike build workshops
The track to get here may have been bumpy, but a group of Yarrabilba youth are being empowered to steer their own path forward, thanks to the TRACTION Bike Build Program.
TRACTION, a not-for-profit, community-focused organisation, has been supporting young people in our community for two years, initially running an after-school bike maintenance and a riding club in partnership with the local Family and Community Centre.
The organisation received a grant of $3,300 through the Yarrabilba Community Grants program, which has allowed two more young people, selected by Yarrabilba State Secondary College, to access the Bike Build Program in Term 2, 2021.
TRACTION Regional Coordinator Elaina Baker said the program supports young people aged 12-15 to build positive futures for themselves through mentoring and hands-on learning, getting them ‘on the tools’ in a workshop environment.
“In Yarrabilba, we have had 78 young people take part in our program since 2019,who work side-by-side with TRACTION mentors to build and customise their own bike to keep,” she said.
“Some young people we work with are isolated and aiming to connect with other young people, and they are able to make new friends at TRACTION.
“Some are hands-on learners who aren’t achieving their potential in the classroom and have gained new confidence from the success they feel through our workshops. For others, it sparks their interest in a career and they are able to make industry connections that lead to work experience or apprenticeships.”
TRACTION provides positive outcomes in three main areas – engagement in learning, resilience and positive behaviour and skills.
- 95% of participants become more confident
- 62% of participants improve their effort at school
- 87% of participants report making healthier and safer choices.
The TRACTION Bike Build program involves young people swapping the classroom for the workshop one day per week for a whole school term, receiving mentoring support and developing practical skills while they complete their bike projects.
Often students who have completed their program opt to come back, giving back to the community by being a mentor for newer participants.
“In 2022, we are looking forward to potential partnerships with other local schools in the Yarrabilba area,” said Elaina.
“We are planning to launch an exciting hands-on food and nutrition program in the region, in partnership with Health and Wellbeing Queensland. This program will have young people preparing their own delicious, healthy food throughout their TRACTION program.
“We look forward to supporting young people to build their own positive futures in a new way.”