Welcome Karen Paxman

You’ve just taken on a role at Ladder as a Development Coach. Can you tell us a bit about the role?

Yes! I'll be working with and alongside young people, providing them with different opportunities and experiences which aim to engage, motivate, excite and ensure they have the best possible support to reach their potential.

You were already involved with Ladder as a mentor and advocate. What made you want to work with Ladder?

Becoming a mentor gave me a solid understanding of the awesome and unique work Ladder does. This is made possible by strong community connections that Ladder has established, particularly with the AFL. I was able to see the positive impact I was having on my mentee, and in return it made me feel awesome knowing that I was making a small difference in someone's life. When given the opportunuty to join the team more formally, I jumped at it knowing I now have a chance to have a positive and helpful impact in more than just one persons life.

Best part of the job so far?

I'm three weeks in, but so far the best part has been simply getting to meet and hang out with some really amazing young people, who have such inspirational stories. It certainly doesn't feel like it's a "job". Also, recently having had the opportunity to meet Ladder staff from all over the country at our national staff workshop was awesome, and really highlighted to me that the whole team is genuinely and passionately committed to improving the lives of young people.

Congrats on being resigned to Melbourne. How do you feel about playing in the red and blue for your second year?

They let me stay - I'm pretty rapt 😊 It's a great feeling getting to play in the AFLW series again, but being at Melbourne I feel especially happy about. I feel we're well ahead of the pack with the great culture and environment we helped create in season one, which makes for an awesome space to be in and play footy in.

What can people do to support Ladder?

There are lots of different ways people can support Ladder. Getting the Ladder word out there is a really simple but important one. "Share", "like", "re-tweet" and help spread the word about the amazing work Ladder is doing, not just in Victoria but all over the country. There are also opportunities to volunteer your time, become a mentor, hold a fundraising event or even sign up and join the Ladder team for Run Melbourne 2017!

See more about Karen's involvement with Ladder here