Putting the young in a positive light
TWO youths are breaking negative stereotypes and giving back to their community by becoming volunteers.
Cody Lee Baker and Dane McNamara are changing attitudes and having a good time while they're at it by volunteering at the Pottsville Beach Neighbourhood Centre, also helping to co-ordinate the community markets.
Tweed Shire Council work experience student Jessie Leigh said she is telling anyone who will listen about the two boys because she knows just how hard it is to break through stereotypical barriers as a young person on the Tweed.
"You only ever hear the negative things about youths on the Tweed," Ms Leigh said.
"I want to tell people about the positive things that we are doing so we can balance the community perception about young people."
She said despite juggling work, study and sport both young men have shown dedication and committment to the Pottsville Neighbourhood Centre.
Mr Baker said he is proud to represent the youth of the community.
"I get so much out of it and I can see that I am devoting my time to a cause that is really needed in this area," he said.
Mr McNamara sorts mail and helps out with administrative duties at the Neighbourhood Centre and said he really enjoys the experience.
"I get to meet different people and help out and I really like it," he said.
Ms Leigh said there are many young people in the shire doing their bit for the community such as meals on wheels volunteers and a young mother's group which is producing an advice booklet and video for other young mums.
The Pottsville Beach Neighbourhood Centre has an "open house" every first and third Sunday of the month when it holds the Pottsville Beach Markets and the community BBQ.
The committed volun- teers and paid staff promote the Neighbourhood Centre's activities on these Sundays and pride themselves on being great role models for anyone wishing to connect with their community.