Life devoted to helping others

Youth Award winner Jessica Kain of Wembley.
Youth Award winner Jessica Kain of Wembley.

Jessica Kain (29) worked with youths for about 10 years in organisations such as Starlight Children’s Foundation before gaining a position as a program co-ordinator at Inclusion WA, in Osborne Park, in 2011.

As the leader of the innovative Youth Connect Program for young people with disabilities and youth at risk of social isolation, Ms Kain encouraged people aged 12-17- years-old to gain independence and self-confidence.

‘I help them identify their goals and use their interests to get them involved in mainstream and social activities within their community,’ she said.

‘I work together with the youth in addressing barriers and developing their social skills in order to achieve their goals.

‘Their goals might be to use public transport themselves or even to make friends.

‘Their needs and goals are diverse and I work together with them as a peer to help them achieve them.’

Her ultimate passion was to make sure young people with disabilities were able to be accepted into the community and have teenage experiences like everybody else.

‘It’s my goal to see young people with disabilities as young people who aren’t identified by their disability,’ she said. ‘I want them to develop skills in independent living and self-advocacy to take with them into adulthood.’