An empowerment workshop for high school students will happen at the PCYC in Muswellbrook next week

OPPORTUNITIES is what Jenna Besford is gaining from her involvement with the Muswellbrook PCYC and next Thursday night she will offer others an empowering opportunity, complete with free pizza.

EMPOWERING: Muswellbrook PCYC’s Jenna Besford and Jordi Adam-Smith.

EMPOWERING: Muswellbrook PCYC’s Jenna Besford and Jordi Adam-Smith.

On June 21, from 5pm to 8.30pm, Jenna will conduct a free empowerment workshop, open to high school students, utilising the artistic ability of local artist Leanne Ward.

“I wanted to combine the two things I love most, helping people and kids,” she said.

But you need not be alarmed, you don’t need any artistic talent, you just need to be a member of the PCYC.

“It’s about empowering our young people, that’s our motto,” PCYC manager De-anne Douglas said.

“Kids can come along and have a look at what empowerment means to them through art.”

And speaking of opportunities, Wednesday marked a milestone for Jenna who gained her P-plates - yet another free opportunity afforded to her by the PCYC.

She is the 153rd person to gain her Ps through the PCYC’s Licenced to Drive program, funded by the efforts of the Upper Hunter Motoring Association, which helps to keep the PCYC’s two cars, an automatic and a manual, on the road.   

PCYC volunteers like Jenna’s mentor, Kevin Smith, allow the kids to get their 120 hours driving time.

“It’s free and starts with two professional lessons,” Ms Douglas said.

“It’s an amazing program, we need more mentors, we have a waiting list of kids.”

Ms Douglas said the program was not just for those financially restricted but for families who might have time-poor parents, or just that the teaching-the-child-to-drive relationship in the car is not good.   

Muswellbrook PCYC currently has 2134 members, 863 of them aged 17 and under, with a crew of volunteers.

Jenna has volunteered at the PCYC for the past two years, with the junior boxing program, community barbecues, blue light and movie nights as well as the school holiday program.

“I help with anything they need help with,” she said.

Jenna’s empowerment workshop is just one part of her working through the PCYC Blue Star leadership program, through which she has already gained her first aid certificate and attended the Advocate for Children and Young People Youth Week Forum in Sydney.