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Volunteering is a great way for young people to get involved in their community.

Off The Leash chatted with some young volunteers for LAUNCH Darwin who gave three thumbs up to getting involved.

17-year-old Ashlee Wallace moved to Darwin two months ago and decided to put herself out there by volunteering for LAUNCHmedia.

“I saw a post on Facebook, so I applied thinking this could be a good way to make friends and work on my confidence and social skills. I would never have even thought of doing something like this before, I’m a pretty shy person.”

Her bold move paid off and she was soon skilling up in media, covering events around Darwin and even signing up for Darwin Council’s Youth Advisory Committee. It’s got her feeling pretty excited about the future. 

“I feel like I’ve really come out of my shell. Now I want to keep going down this path of social media, business and marketing to see if it can lead to some sort of career.”

Aydar Zarifullin spotted the same opportunity in an online post, becoming  the youngest volunteer at LAUNCHmedia, aged 13. 

“I’d only really used social media with my friends before, but when I started this I learned how to make posts more effective, to reach more of your audience and things like that. These are all skills that are needed for the future.”

For Nick Johnson, LAUNCH’s Midnight Basketball program has been the game changer. He played four tournaments, representing the NT in the Nationals, before deciding it was time to give back.

“I loved it so much I decided to get involved in volunteering as a coach. Now I’m loving being able to guide a bunch of players to just have a great game of basketball.”

He’s since been asked to be Court Supervisor for the Rising Stars basketball program for kids and adults of all abilities, and is loving every minute of it. 

“As long as the programs are running, I reckon I’ll stay involved for a very long time.”


Thumbnail image: Aydar Zarifullin at NTeen Fashion Festival; image by Zandro Lagman 

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