During Sasha’s short eight months since joining the youth sector, her unique skillset in visual arts, music, and tutoring has allowed her to continuously develop and facilitate opportunities for young people to gain skills, increase self-efficacy and develop creatively. Sasha advocates for young people to reach their fullest potential and will go above and beyond to support them to discover and reach their goals. Sasha’s empathy and passion, as well as skills and knowledge are one of a youth worker beyond her years. She is an asset to her team at YWCA Canberra and is constantly impressing her colleagues with the ease of which youth work comes to her.
From day one of her work in the Youth sector, Sasha hit the ground running, constantly assessing gaps in service delivery, and looking for ways to innovate, network, and gain experience. She has used her diverse skillset to individually support young people in several areas, including song writing, music production, vocal coaching, audio-book recording, video, photo, visual art, makeup artistry, and cooking projects.
Sasha developed and facilitated an in-school art drop-in program where young people who were isolated during break times could connect with YWCA Canberra youth service and learn new fine art skills with materials they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Sasha also delivered a cooking life-skills program after learning that young people in our drop-in had never cooked a meal before and frequently went without cooked meals at home. Sasha also developed the Lockdown Lens photography program with the Woden School during lockdown to develop the self-efficacy of young people who were rarely celebrated. Their work was showcased in an online social media exhibition. To support the delivery of these programs and others, Sasha has built new networks with several businesses including the ANU Maker-Space, Three Mills Bakery, and Mynx Beaute.
Sasha’s commitment to young people was especially evident when engaging with a young Canberran LGBTIQA+ band to develop their skills in recording original music. Sasha implemented vocal support techniques with one member experiencing gender dysphoria about their voice, resulting in their increased confidence signing with a tone that affirmed their gender identity. Through their time engaged in the program, the band built the confidence to enter a talent show, pursue busking, and apply for a YouthInterACT Grant toward an LGBTIQA+ band night. Sasha also advocated for funding to provide the centre with the musical equipment needed for rehearsing and performing.
Sasha is always looking for opportunities to participate in training and professionally develop. She has sought out and completed training in Alcohol and Other Drugs, Mental Health First Aid, and body-image. She has also completed suggested training in Accidental Counsellor, Casework Framework, Trauma Informed Practice, and LGBTIQA+.