Empowering Dreams: From a baking enthusiast to a professional baker

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Meet Gabrielle!

She is a 25-year-old baking enthusiast who dreams of finding a fulfilling job at a bakery. While prospective employers have overlooked her abilities due to their misconceptions about her mild intellectual disability, she remains determined to accomplish her goals and bring her dreams to fruition.

A few of our team members from Northcott were privileged enough to catch up with her at Julia Reserve, Oran Park, on a bright autumn morning in April.

With a broad smile, she shared how her baking hobby has grown and matured over the years. Gabrielle first started baking cakes alongside her grandmother during high school. It inspired her to pursue a career in the field. She now experiments in the kitchen, explores new dessert ideas, and bakes many cupcakes, cakes, and sweet treats.

Gabrielle started coming to Northcott four years ago. She participates in the Work & Study program that empowers young adults with disability to develop the skills and work experience they need to thrive in the workforce. Through Northcott, she hones her skills in a commercial kitchen, gaining confidence and socialising with peers.

Your donation will help us extend our Work & Study program to more young adults with disability.

Vocational learning programs like Northcott's Work & Study program help young adults with disability learn at a pace that suits their individual needs. This program has equipped Gabrielle with skills in menu planning, budgeting, and catering.

She also enjoys participating in group-based activities at Northcott, where she connects with fellow young adults, forms friendships, and gains valuable teamwork experience. 

Each time you support Northcott, you are helping re-write people's stories. You're setting young adults with disability up for success so they acquire the skills they need to become job-ready and reach their full potential.

Your donation will help us expand our Work & Study programs to Queensland, empowering more young adults with disability to acquire the skills they need to secure a job. Your generosity will ensure Northcott's support workers have the extra training and resources to deliver personalised learning programs that support working-age adults with disability. With your donation today, we will also have the capacity to organise outings and create travel opportunities so young adults with disability can fully participate in the community.

Gabrielle and her friends holding cupcakes, smiling
Gabrielle smiles at the camera

Mele, Gabrielle's support worker, has been her source of encouragement. "Mele has helped me work on my confidence and people skills. She is very easy to talk to and listens when I talk. That helps me a lot,"  says Gabrielle.

Gabrielle's one-on-one sessions with Mele prepare her for life at work. Mele also organises mock interviews, facilitates connections with prospective employers for Gabrielle, and offers support and advice through the job search process.

Like Gabrielle, many young adults with disability encounter challenges in securing employment and achieving their full potential, which leads to feelings of frustration and dependency.

With your support today, we can ensure more young adults with disability receive hands-on experience and personalised learning programs that empower them on their journey to finding a fulfilling job.

As a token of appreciation, when you donate today, you will receive a personalised email update from Gabrielle on her journey to finding a job at a bakery. Now, this really is the cherry on top of the cake!

Young adults with disability have a lower employment rate (48%) than those without disability (80%).