Kylie-Jo, School Liaison, Koondoola Primary School
Being a school liaison for 12 Buckets is a role that Kylie-Jo Barker takes an enormous amount of pride in, her daily routine at Koondoola Primary School has been part of her professional life now for four years.
Kylie-Jo starts her day at Koondoola Primary School by arriving early to tend to the 12 Buckets room, she then makes her way around the classrooms to check in with the students and their teachers.
There is a specific level of coordination required by Kylie-Jo, she ensures that she has ample time to reach out to mentors if they are not required at the school that day, takes times to check in with each of the mentors before they meet with their students and aligns her scheduling with that of the Koondoola Primary School teachers.
“I wish I had found 12 Buckets sooner, it is so much more than a job to me.
“I feel like I have a real purpose doing this and each day I look forward to going to work,” she said.
After completing a Masters in Counselling at Notre Dame University, Kylie-Jo was looking for a role that allowed her to make a positive impact in the lives of children – but the reality was that a role working in this space was hard to come by. However, while she was out looking for the perfect job, the perfect job found her and Kylie-Jo was recommended for the role of Koondoola Primary School Liaison at 12 Buckets.
“I was looking for a role that allowed me to combine my previous education in teaching and art therapy with the counselling qualifications I had just gained,” she said.
“When I heard about the opportunity with 12 Buckets, I couldn’t wait to get started”.
For Kylie-Jo, it is not only the amazing growth and development she sees within the 12 Buckets kids that makes the job rewarding, there are several other key success factors that she deems crucial to ensuring the program has impact within the school environment. One of these factors is building the reputation of 12 Buckets within the school community.
“The kids within the school see 12 Buckets as a happy, safe and supportive place.
“When children ask if they can come to 12 Buckets, it shows me that our program is having an impact beyond just our 12 Buckets kids and that other students see it as a creative and enjoyable place”, she said.
Another contribution to the success of 12 Buckets according to Kylie-Jo, is having passionate and caring mentors who generously donate their time to the program.
“It takes a village, we are always looking for mentors to join our 12 Buckets family.
“When you see the amazing progress that the kids make after receiving that special one-on-one time with a trusted adult, it makes it all worthwhile”, she said.
Kylie-Jo had some pearls of wisdom to share with anyone who might be considering volunteering their time to mentor a child with 12 Buckets. Reflecting on her own mentoring experience, she noted that while ‘it is nerve-wracking at first, you just need to remember to have fun and act like a kid again’.
“The feedback we receive from our mentors is that as much as you give your students, you get back for yourself, if not more.
“You tend to forget the world outside of the 12 Buckets room and just focus on the huge impact you’re having on the student, the student-mentor relationship is truly a very special thing”, she said.
How can I get involved with 12 Buckets?
12 Buckets provides a tailored one-to-one mentoring program to primary aged students, focusing on responsibility, community, mastery and generosity through a Journey Plan with their mentor.
If you would like to make a positive impact in the life of a young person in our program, fill out the mentoring application form or get in touch with our team for more information.