Helping young people gain traction

‘TRACTION’ is a homegrown social enterprise that seeks to engage and empower young people in need. Participants have the opportunity to restore and repurpose disused bicycles in a supportive, hands-on learning environment. They gain skills, build self-esteem and explore potential. Best of all, they ride away with a bike at the end of it!

TRACTION has connected with some 1500 young people across South-East Queensland over the past five years. Pensar is proud to have played a part since the early days. We have provided space and infrastructure to help build the program and host workshops. Pensar Managing Director Karl Yunker has taken part in the CEO Bike Build where young people and business leaders work together to share knowledge and skills and restore a bike together.

“It’s all about young people building their confidence and connections in a safe and exciting learning environment,” says the Pensar MD. “They discover their strengths and develop a sense of belonging. They build new skills they take back to their school, family and community. They build something with their own hands that they get to keep at the end of the program. They’re challenged, engaged and reap the rewards of their own work. So there’s a great sense of purpose and pride.

“You can see the transformation in the young people taking part – that spark of interest that ignites their involvement. TRACTION has built tangible results for young people, schools, families and communities.

“TRACTION founder Sandy Murdoch has done an amazing job. He’s engaged local communities and the corporate sector. He’s involved some really exciting mentors – from CEOs to BMX champions. He’s created a spark in many young people’s lives.”

Corporate support is vital for social enterprises like TRACTION. And such benevolent endeavours provide a platform for the corporate sector to make a difference. Pensar’s Karl says TRACTION delivers big benefits for both the young participants and grown-ups alike.

“It’s great for the young people taking part to spend quality time with older people who aren’t their parents, teachers or figures of authority – but who can act like mentors. They may never have met anyone like us. It’s a great opportunity to connect in a welcoming and engaging environment – and build something together.

“It’s a two way street. I think we get a lot of out of it too. It’s a great reminder of how lucky we are to have the opportunities we do. How a small contribution can make a big difference for someone in need. And how we can encourage our young people to find their strengths and reach their potential.

“For a company like Pensar, while we may not have the cash of some of the big corporates, we have people, expertise and infrastructure. We’re happy to donate our time and resources. It’s been great to see TRACTION grow and reach more and more young people, and see them grow in confidence through the program. It’s a great idea and a great model.”

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