Hey, I’m Jess and I’m one of Dismantle’s Bike Mentors. On program days, I get prepped for whichever program is scheduled (loading the van, getting bikes organised, etc) then support kids who are participating. Mostly my job involves having meaningful conversations with young people about identified issues, and then provide support and guidance surrounding these issues.
I’ve been a youth worker since 2012 and working with at risk youth is my passion. Before Dismantle, I was a youth worker with Bridge the Gap working with at risk young people, and then a Community Engagement Officer with City of Kwinana. I was also a finalist in the Youth Affairs Council Outstanding Youth Worker Award.
I started working for Dismantle in 2015. It's so refreshing for an organisation to realise that not all young people fit in the same box; Dismantle provides an outlet for kids to open up – it’s amazing how much better you can connect with kids when they’re engaged in something they like doing.
Dismantle is also a family orientated organisation, which I really appreciate. I have two boys, one 20 months and one 16 years old, and we spend a lot of time down at the beach. I hated bikes before I started working with dismantle - I hadn’t ridden one on years! Now I actually own one, which is a big change, and occasionally we go for bike rides in the summer as a family.