Teen Challenge QLD volunteer Annika Thomas, who grew up in the south-eastern suburbs of Brisbane, helps out in marketing and fundraising for the cause. Recently engaged, Annika is hoping people will get behind this cause that helps young people.
What do you do, why did you choose to go down that path, and what do you love about it?
I have currently been engaged with supporting the work done at Teen Challenge QLD. TCQ is a not for profit organisation which helps young people from the ages of 16 to 29 years who struggle with homelessness, addictions, and other life controlling issues. As part of the team at TCQ I get to be involved in the process of ensuring that Queensland youth have an opportunity for a better life. What I love most about volunteering for TCQ is the opportunity to help my community and also to be part of a friendly, supportive, and enthusiastic team.
What are you currently working on project-wise?
Currently I am helping TCQ through their marketing and fundraising. I have been creating documents and lists of fundraising strategies and events we could host to increase the donations put towards our cause. I have also been helping update the online presence of TCQ through the website and through our social media (Facebook) page.
What would you say led you to where you are today? Eg background, achievements, inspiration?
I was inspired to start helping Teen Challenge QLD through my Mum, who has always encouraged me and inspired me to take on new challenges. I have been studying writing at university and, as I got closer to graduation, I began to think about how and where I could use my skills. My Mum found a TCQ volunteer position, which provided me with a perfect opportunity to practice my skills and gain some experience. TCQ has been a great place for me to do this; the people here are supportive and encouraging, and have provided me with many opportunities to develop my abilities.
What do you get up to in your down time? Do you have any hobbies?
In my down time I like to read, write, and play tennis. A lot of my time is spent reading fantasy or thriller novels (but I am open to other suggestions). I have recently become engaged so most of my time has been taken up with wedding preparations, which involves a lot of Googling and emailing. My favourite way to relax and get away from the rush of life is to draw a bath, put on some music and read a book.
What’s it like being a young person in Brisbane? What suggestions would you make to improve the city?
Through my work with TCQ I have realised that, even though I have grown up in Brisbane, I don’t have a full understanding of what it is like to be a young person in Brisbane. I grew up in the south-east suburbs with a loving family and friends. I have my difficulties but for the most part I have a fun, interesting life. I would like to acknowledge how lucky I am to have so much love and support in my life and to encourage others do the same. So many young people do not have what I do. They struggle every day with things I have taken for granted. I would suggest that, to improve the city, everyone, from businesses to communities to governments, should acknowledge these young people and find ways to support them. No matter how small or large the engagement every bit of support given to these young people assists in bettering their lives, and the lives of their communities.
What advice or inspiration would you share with other young people?
My favourite quote and inspiration is from C.S. Lewis. “Hardships often prepare ordinary people, for an extraordinary destiny”. I see this as a reminder that no matter where you come from, no matter what you have done or been through, if you can fight against your troubles and stand strong in yourself and God, you will fly above the storm and come out a stronger person.
Is there anything else you’d like to add? Where can people get in touch with you?
Please donate or show support to Teen Challenge. Every bit of assistance is an encouragement to the staff and the young people we help. If you would like further information about helping us, or if you would like to know more about referrals, please contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. You can contact us through email on firstname.lastname@example.org or you can also visit our website on http://www.teenchallengeqld.org.au/.