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Australian School Teacher Encourages Young People to Honour Their Family and to Serve Others

Jerry and Peleketi Papailiou.© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jerry Papailiou is a Queensland school teacher who works four days a week in the classroom, leaving one day to mentor youth who may be experiencing challenges in their lives, or who may be lacking a little direction.

A few years ago, Jerry realised that some of his students were struggling with their school-work due to personal concerns and family challenges.

He decided to do something about it, forming a not-for-profit community organisation called FRESH Mentoring.

With his wife Peleketi (who is a social worker), and other talented family members, he organises events in Brisbane, Logan and the Gold Coast where teenagers are invited to consider ways they can honour their family, respect others, express themselves honestly and kindly, serve those around them, and always remember their heritage. The first letters of the words family, respect, expression, service and heritage combine to create “FRESH.” Hence the name of his not-for-profit community organisation.

Having many years of teaching experience, Jerry and his team use their skills to teach these principles in a fun, interactive and relaxed environment. They use tools such as music and games to connect with each youth.

FRESH Mentoring has been developed out of the belief that every person is a child of God and has the power to make positive changes in his or her own life, and to help others do the same.

Recently, FRESH attracted news media attention for the partnership they have formed with the Queensland Police Service. The aim of the partnership is to break down barriers and stigmas that youth may have about Police and create a relationship where youth are comfortable turning to Police for assistance.

Jerry is a busy man, but always finds time for his family and to serve those around him. Between teaching and mentoring, he is also a devoted husband and loving father. He and Peleketi are raising seven children ranging in age from four months to thirteen years. He also serves as a youth leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Beenleigh, south of Brisbane.

“When I began my career as a high school teacher,” he recalls, “I recognised my gift to mentor. My life has become more fulfilling as I have seen changes in people’s lives. I enjoy seeing mentees living a good life from the good choices they are making.”

“I love seeing people feel joy from change and trying to make a difference to their lives.”


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