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24th November 2023

• Nine girls aged between 14 and 17 have graduated from Sunshine Coast’s Project Booyah program.
• 60 young people have engaged in the Sunshine Coast’s Project Booyah programs since 2019
• Project Booyah is a QPS led early intervention youth mentoring program that provides police mentoring and pathways to study, training, and employment for young people at risk of, or beginning to, offend.

Nine young people have successfully graduated from the Sunshine Coast’s most recent youth mentoring program, Project Booyah.

Member for Nicklin, Robert Skelton joined Chief Inspector Michael Volk today, to celebrate the commitment and dedication achieved by each of these young people over the 16-week program.

Project Booyah is an early intervention youth mentoring program run by the Queensland Police Service (QPS) in partnership with PCYC and the local community.

Selected from across the Sunshine Coast area, each of these young people are aged between 14 and 17 and were considered at-risk of offending or had begun down the path of crime.

Participants are provided police mentoring and supported through leadership, social and educational skills development programs, and vocational scholarships.

Aiming to re-engage the young cohort in productive futures by teaching life skills to improve health, education and connection to community and provide pathways to study, training, and employment.

The cohort will be supported for the next 18 months through the Framing the Future program, helping to continue empower young people following graduation.

Of the participants with an history of offending, more than 54% do not reoffend after graduating the program.

While 56% of young graduates proceed into further education or employment opportunities.

Quotes attributable to Mr Robert Skelton:

“The determination, courage and commitment these young people have shown throughout the program is a testament to all they can achieve in the future, “he said.

“The Project Booyah program has a positive effect not only on its graduates, but on the community, in intervening early in the lives of at-risk young people and helping them become strong contributors to the community.

“Our young people are Queensland’s future, and we all have a role to play in providing them the tools, the connections and the experience to make good choices – and that begins with initiatives like Project Booyah.”

Quotes attributable to Chief Inspector Michael Volk:

“Early intervention is a key tool for police to prevent crime, help young people down the right path and keep the community safe, “he said.

“It is a privilege to watch these young people grow, succeed and prove that troubled kids can turn their lives around.

“Prior to this program, these boys and girls were considered at-risk in the community and may have disengaged from their schooling, family or begun down the path of offending.

“Now they have stronger relationships with police, are connected to their community and many have re-engaged in education and employment.

“All nine girls should be immensely proud of their achievements, and we look forward to seeing what they achieve next, with the support of the Framing the Future program.”

Explainer/fast fact and or further information:
- Project Booyah selects between 10-12 young people aged between 14 and 17 for each cohort, twice a year.
- Each program runs for 16 weeks and provides police mentoring and pathways to study, training, and employment.
- Project Booyah will be commencing in Toowoomba in 2024.

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