“But deep down, I just wanted someone to understand me, to listen, to talk openly and freely with in a mutual manner. I wanted someone who wanted to get to know me for who I really was and not the person I was portraying to the world,” she said.

“Unfortunately I never found that person, so at 14, I knew that one day, I would become that person I was searching for. I knew could make a positive impact on young people that are sharing the same experiences I did at their age.”

Although Schnell studied with a private training provider, Workforce Development, it was through someone in the industry that she scored her big break.

“I was approached by a youth advisor a few years back through Wellington City Council who thought I would be perfect for the job. I was already a resident of the community and was born and raised here, so it was a bonus to have existing links with the community.”’

Now, as a high profile youth worker, she supports young people and their families by connecting and providing them with relevant social, professional, recreational, and educational programmes. It’s a diverse job, and no two clients are the same.

“I love seeing families I work alongside make positive changes, engage with communities, develop personal growth, and feeling good about themselves.”

Average pay

  • Youth workers usually earn $28k–$35k per year.

(Source: Careers New Zealand)



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