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Ekram's story

Josh Raymer and Maddy Ware

26 Oct 2022

From Huddle Holidays participant to Huddle Employee

Ekram is a 17-year-old Wyndham local, and since 2021, has participated in The Huddle’s HERStory camp, multiple Huddle Holidays Basketball Tournament’s, and The Huddle’s Game Changers program. After taking part in many areas of the Huddle and growing in doing so, Ekram is now employed as a Program Support Officer at The Huddle.

One Huddle programs that has seen massive growth throughout 2022 is Wyndham’s Study Squad. Due to an increased demand for study support from young people within the Wyndham community, there was a need for a Program Support Officer to join the team to assist young people to complete their study and access free tutoring. Ekram was touted by Huddle staff as a young person that would be a great fit to assist with the program. She had previously demonstrated a desire to work at The Huddle, due to her enjoyment of Huddle programs she had participated in, and experiences she’d heard from other young people that have worked at The Huddle.

Ekram first participated in The Huddle through the HERStory camp, an initiative for young women. Ekram attended HERStory with a group of friends, and the camp introduced her to some of the Huddle staff and programs available to her.

“The camp was fun being around people I know – I also had to get out of my comfort zone when meeting new people. It was my first-time meeting everyone at The Huddle, and I felt like I had a connection with the staff, which made me want to keep coming back to other Huddle programs.”

From there, Ekram participated in multiple Huddle basketball tournaments. Basketball is a huge passion of Ekram’s, and her involvement in multiple women’s only Huddle Slam’s strengthened her connection with The Huddle. Ekram also attended a Youth Employment forum organised by The Huddle’s Social Cohesion Team, and this led to her involvement with Game Changers – The Huddle’s employment program. Through the Game Changers program, Ekram was able to develop her employability skills, and she registered despite having a casual job already. After meeting with the Careers Coordinator, Ekram advised she would like to be considered for future opportunities at The Huddle as she had been involved in many of the programs and wanted to highlight her skills in a paid capacity.

Prior to Ekram’s interview at The Huddle, she worked with the Huddle’s Careers Coordinator, Maddy Ware, on interview preparation and displaying her skills in a professional setting. During Ekram’s interview, she was able to highlight her previous experience and skills and demonstrated how she would adopt and amplify The Huddle’s values if she were to be successful. With the support of the Careers Coordinator’s scaffolded interview questions, Ekram was able to clearly demonstrate times she had utilized skills such as communication, teamwork and leadership which led her to be successful in gaining the position of Program Support Officer, supporting Wyndham’s Study Squad program as an employee as opposed to participant.

“I felt nervous coming in, but when I saw Josh and Maddy (Huddle co-ordinators), I felt more comfortable and more excited to complete the interview. It went smoothly, and I felt I answered questions to the best of my ability because I felt at ease."

Ekram started as Program Support Officer at The Huddle in September this year. Ekram’s role assists young people with achieving their education goals, feeling welcome in space, and most importantly involves being able to relate to the young people that come into the Huddle. Ekram’s addition to Study Squad has further strengthened the connection between program attendees and The Huddle, and there is now a greater amount of support provided for attendees. Ekram is developing her skills in working with young people, managing databases and systems, creating a network of industry professionals, supporting others to achieve their goals and much more. The photo above shows Ekram on her very first day working on the Huddle team. She is also a role model for Study Squad attendees and has demonstrated a strong connection with participants. Ekram has also started to assist with other programs such as Huddle Holidays, with more opportunities to come. The Huddle is greater for having Ekram involved.

“I feel like I have connected with young people in a way that I didn’t think I could, and I’ve learned how to talk to new people, I feel more confident in running the program and I’m gaining an awareness in what needs to happen to manage the program successfully”

Ekram shared some of her hopes for the future, and that she wants “ be a lawyer; I want to go to university and study law. I’m currently in Year 11, about to go into Year 12, so I want to complete my secondary schooling and go on to get industry experience. I really want to get into Migration law, to help people that need assistance settling in Australia.”

Ekram’s story demonstrates how important it is to have young people involved in the delivery of The Huddle’s programs to maximize the opportunity for growth, learning and belonging for all participants. 

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