Melbourne Football Club's Karen Paxman talks mentoring
Melbourne Football Club's Karen Paxman has provided an insight into her life off the field, where she mentors a young person who has experienced homelessness, as part of her ongoing work with Ladder.
Paxman began mentoring in 2016 and describes her role as fundamentally "being a friend to someone who might need a friend".
She reflects on growing up in a stable environment with a reliable network which is in stark contrast to what many young people in the Ladder program have experienced.
"Those years of your life are probably the hardest years. The worry of, where am I going to sleep tonight, that's just an extra worry that kids and young people shouldn't have.
Paxman describes her mentee as a "little legend" and is supporting her to achieve her goal of becoming a midwife.
"I'm really happy for her and see her in a position that she can achieve anything she wants to.
Paxman says AFL players, including the new AFL Womens' players, can make great mentors for young people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness and has encouraged them to get involved.
"It's important for young girls to see women in these leadership roles that are strong girls, that are powerful girls and getting out there and kicking some butt kind of girls.
"If you're willing to give a little bit of your time, you could be a great mentor. It can mean the world to someone," Paxman said.
Ladder is a not-for-profit organisation that helps and empowers young people, 16 - 25, who are at-risk or are experiencing homelessness to transition into independence. Ladder is the Official Charity of AFL Players and a national partner of the AFL.
If you are interested in mentoring, please email us here. or call (03) 9416 0064.