Joel performs worthwhile juggling act

Headshot of Adam Poulsen
Adam PoulsenGeraldton Guardian
Sixteen-year-old volunteer Joel Pearson teaches circus tricks to children at Geraldton PCYC.
Camera IconSixteen-year-old volunteer Joel Pearson teaches circus tricks to children at Geraldton PCYC. Credit: Adam Poulsen

High school student. Volunteer. Businessman.

Aged just 16, Geraldton’s Joel Pearson is all of these things.

And while teenage volunteers are not unheard of, Joel gives his free time to an unusual cause: teaching circus tricks to children.

Every Monday in term-time, the Nagle Catholic College student teaches two classes to children aged five-14 at Geraldton PCYC.

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“I’ve been doing circus for seven years, and one of the big things for me is just being able to pass my knowledge on to someone else and help them achieve their goals,” Joel said.

“You can see who wants to excel and who doesn’t.

“We help to push the people who want to push themselves.”

Joel’s dedication was formally recognised last year when he was dubbed Centacare Geraldton’s youth volunteer of the year.

The award came as a surprise to Joel, who was not even aware he had been nominated.

“It meant a lot to me, really, but I don’t do it to be recognised or anything,” he said.

“I got a message from the PCYC manager telling me to make sure I went to the award ceremony.

“There’s a few young volunteers at PCYC. We all rocked up but we didn’t know what we were doing there. Then I got the award and I was stoked.”

Joel has also volunteered at City events, the Wind on Water Festival, and was this year’s Act-Belong-Commit Youth on Health Festival ambassador for the Mid West.

He also teaches and hosts workshops through his business, Spectacular Stilting.

When he finishes school he hopes to complete a Bachelor of Circus Arts at the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne.

“I also do workplace with Euphorium Creative, who are an arts producing company,” Joel said.

“We do a lot of work with social impact and how what we do can affect the community in good ways, and I really enjoy that as well.”

Nominations are open for Centacare Geraldton’s 2019 Volunteer of the Year Awards at centacaregeraldton.org.au.

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