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Inside Out

My own life experiences are what led me to be a Youth Worker. I was an early school leaver, there’s addiction in my family, I come from a disadvantaged neighbourhood where opportunities aren’t great; life outcomes aren’t as linear as the rest of society. What emerged out of that was the realisation that we can continue to get educated, so I went back to school. While I was studying in Maynooth, training to be a youth and community worker, my lecturers said, ‘we want to see what you’re like with issue-based work’. So, I came to BeLonG To.

Photo by Babs Daly.

When I arrived at BeLonG To I was just blown away. The approach to youth work here is more about critical thinking. Youth work traditionally focuses on personal development of young people; it’s about intervening and giving them skills to fit into a society tailor-made for them already. Our approach is more like: hang on, there are certain issues in this society, so let’s engage young people to question that society. Let’s give them the skills and the capacity to go out and become agents of social change.

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