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14-Jan-2024 | Housing & Homelessness

Harlow’s Career Grit Journey

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19-year-old Harlow (they/them) joined the Career Grit program at The Foundry by SYC in October 2022. Despite being initially cautious, they enthusiastically and positively engaged in the program's activities. Attending group workshops, one-on-one appointments, and employer presentations. Harlow continually expressed keen interest in the employer presentations, asking questions of the guests even if they weren’t particularly interested in their line of work.

When SYC’s stationery supplier, COS (Complete Office Supplies) presented, Harlow seemed less than thrilled to work in the warehousing industry. However, when the opportunity came to visit their operation warehouse, they resisted the temptation to ‘make an excuse not to show up’ and instead came along with an open mind and the willingness to go outside of their comfort zone.

During the visit, Harlow was offered a chance to try picking and packing with close support from an experienced worker there, and to their surprise, they really enjoyed it. COS was impressed with their efforts as they showed a strong work ethic and a positive attitude. They were offered an immediate start in paid employment the following week.

Harlow received a brand new uniform including pants, polo shirt and boots and even a fresh new haircut free of charge thanks to SYC’s partnership with Archie & Co. This employment has had an incredible impact on Harlow’s life,

“It’s really changing me into a better person. I’m a lot more productive with my time. I’m excited about the future” and added “I couldn’t have done it without The Foundry, I love it there!” – Harlow.

Dom, Distribution Centre Manager, is very optimistic about what lies ahead for Harlow, saying,

“They are very keen and the team really like them – they show good promise” and added, “we are very pleased with the effort so far. I think it’s unusual they don’t have a job already.” - Dom.

Harlow has now secured private rental accommodation, has travelled on their own to Melbourne to see their favourite band play (Fall Out Boy) and has flights booked for another trip to Sydney for another concert. They are still employed and progressing very well at COS, currently working 25+ hours per week. Harlow is still in contact with The Foundry and is looking forward to speaking with new program participants to highlight the benefits and share their story.

I am loving work, enjoying life, saving money and making better decisions.” – Harlow.

The Foundry’s Career Grit Program provides mentoring and support to develop skills, explore training and study options, and identify passions and strengths so young people can confidently take the first of many steps along their career path. The program is run at SYC’s youth hub, The Foundry by SYC, located in the Adelaide CBD.

If you're a young person aged 15-24 interested in career mentorship, please register your interest via our contact form.

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