Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Supporting Teenagers with Education, Mothering and Mentoring

 My youngest child started school this year. Which meant that I was at a loss with what to do with myself. Ideally, I want to return to the work force, but in a capacity that is going to be fueled by something I am passionate about. And there are lots of things that I get on my soapbox  am passionate about. Add to that, not having been in the paid workforce for a long time, I needed to foster my own self confidence in my ability to be in  an outside-the-home-working experience.

After several different encounters with my daughter's friends where they needed an adult that was supportive and non judgmental, I went looking for what was around in the way of helping young women who are either pregnant or have babies. Serendipity stepped in, and I fell across an organisation called  S.T.E.M.M. Supporting Teenagers with Education, Mothering and Mentoring

   "Our multi-award winning program supports pregnant girls and young mothers in a safe, non-judgemental environment with individual support plans developed by trained case managers.

Each girl will be given the opportunity to develop life skills, parenting, self-worth, healthy relationships, pre & post birth plans and physical & emotional well-being.
In partnership with Education Queensland, TAFE and the University of the Sunshine Coast, girls will be able to engage with learning pathways towards certified outcomes.
All girls are given the opportunity to develop their mothering skills through access to a variety of experts involved in maternity services, breastfeeding, child health and Child & Youth Mental Health Services (C.Y.M.H.S)"
I went to an information session, and volunteered. Everything that they are doing felt right to me, and my own personal journey has given me both skills and tools that I know can make a difference. I've been working there since the beginning of the school year. Because I have hurt my back recently I haven't been there for the last two weeks, and I'm missing it terribly. 
This morning, my partner sent me a text telling me that he had read an article in the Courier Mail about S.T.E.M.M. and that it was in danger of closing due to lack of funding. 
I'm distressed to hear this... compounded by the fact that last week I read that the Queensland Government spent closed to a million dollars for featuring floating eyes that look like children's drawings.  Close to a million dollars spent on a piece of art (that from what I have read, and seen, no-one wants!!) compared to $110,000 needed to keep a much needed program running. I don't get it. At all.
So while the Queensland Government has forked out nearly a million dollars for some floating eyes, S.T.E.M.M. is in the midst of preparing for their major fund raiser, Christmas in July. This years theme is going to be Arabian nights.

There will be a 3 course meal with canapes on arrival. Entertainment includes Kelsey Rimmer who appeared on The Voice. She is an amazing young woman, with an incredible voice. There will also be a band, belly dancers, a silent auction of art works, and other items that have been donated for auctioning.
When was the last time you went to a Ball (or costume party - dress is either formal or costume)? When was the last time you got all frocked up in something glamorous? When was the last time you reached out and did something for someone just because you could? That's what you would be doing, reaching out and doing something to make a difference by buying a ticket, and going to this year's Christmas in July. Get a table together. Spread the word. Make a difference, and keep this program running.
Can't make it to Christmas in July? Make a donation of either money, or something to be auctioned off at the event. S.T.E.M.M is also  in urgent need of volunteers to provide “modelled mothering” in both the baby and the toddler crèches between 9am and 2pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays during the school term. Contact STEMM directly on 54597376 or 0447202061 if you can be of assistance. 


  1. Wow Vicky this is such a worthwhile cause, hope your back feels better real soon, so you can continue being an inspiration to these young women. Off to share Nx

    1. Thank you so much. I love working there. it has helped me really identify what I want to do now, and are enrolling in the Cert iv for Youth work ASAP.

  2. This is a wonderful initiative to support. I hope it goes off on the night!!! x


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