James Ryan


James is the Director of Wellbeing for Pathways. He writes resilience, mindfulness, brain talks and other custom PD sessions. James is guiding a pilot program that works with long-term unemployed youth. James is a husband, dad, has been through initiatory ceremonies, practiced mindfulness for over twenty years and is currently writing a book.


Getting into their heads: a neurosequential brain development approach to youth employment program

The Empowering Youth to Thrive (EYTT) initiative is an innovative youth employment program that utilises neuroscience research to underpin a range of creative and sensory experiences to engage young people in social and emotional learning, particularly independence, agency, resilience and relationship building. This neurosequential approach aims to enhance young, vulnerable and at-risk youth’s brain pathways to enhance their cortical (higher order thinking) functions. In doing so, young people are potentially afforded the problem solving, communication and critical thinking skills necessary for the possibility of positive engagement in the current and future workforce.

The EYTT is funded under the Federal Department of Education and Training (DET) Empowering YOUth Initiative. The focus of the initiative is to empower vulnerable and at risk youth, particularly Indigenous youth, to develop both soft and hard work-readiness skills and improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of the young people engaged in the program.

This paper will discuss the design, evaluation and outcomes of the program including a focus on the health outcomes and work-readiness skills outcomes for young people who have participated.

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