Free barista course swirls up experience for western Sydney teens

Barista course graduates Daniel Kumar and Nicholis Mravicic with Crystal Graham (centre) from Hills Daily Grind program.

Young people are learning the fine art of coffee making thanks to a free barista course at the High Street Youth Health Service.

The 10-week course, offered by Hills Community Aid’s Hills Daily Grind program and funded by Parramatta City Council, is giving young people the opportunity to develop skills and confidence in barista work.

The course has been provided for the first time at Western Sydney Local Health District’s High Street Youth Health Service, which supports homeless and marginalised young people with health and wellbeing support.

Daniel Kumar and Nicholis Mravicic try their hand at coffee making.

Nineteen-year-old Daniel Kumar, who is one of four people who have now completed the course, said he is on a positive journey thanks to the help of High Street.

“Six months ago I went to Headspace for support and it was recommended that I contact High Street,” Daniel said.

“I found it (High Street) really supportive and a great environment to just feel comfortable and safe.”

The course is offered through a mobile van at High Street Youth Health Service.

Daniel said his new barista making skills will come in handy for himself and others.

“I signed up as a way of making some change and to learn some skills that will benefit me,” Daniel said.

“I think the course is a great stepping stone for people. It’s a great environment to start learning something.

“Thanks to High Street I’m feeling much better – High Street is a great place for people to overcome their issues and become a better version of yourself.”

Congratulations to the graduates! Executive officer and program director from Hills Daily Grind Mici Beer and barista graduates Halee, Daniel and Nicholis with Christian San Juan from High Street Youth Health Service (third from left).

Community access team senior Christian San Juan said the first barista course is now complete and another will commence soon.

“Staff at Hills Community Aid knew we have clients with complex needs and the team has been brilliant with our young people,” Christian said.

“The course is offering food handling and customer service skills and they’re learning about all the different coffee styles.

“Some of our clients don’t have the experience or confidence to seek work experience so this gives them the opportunity to get some hands on practical experience and move into a longer term role.”

Hills Community Aid executive officer and program director Mici Beer said that her team loves the benefits the program brings young people.

“We love seeing the outcomes achieved through the Hills Daily Grind program and working with our vulnerable communities,” Mici said.

Barista course graduate Halee Quinn.

“Being able to see the skills and confidence that is built in just ten weeks is just huge for us.

“To hear that people now want to get a job, or are engaging with school or their peers more, is the best outcome we can ever ask for.”

The High Street Youth Service provides nurses, doctors and counselling such as emotional and wellbeing support groups. Activities can include cooking classes and legal aid, Centrelink and Housing NSW support is provided through the service. It also provides a kitchen, laundry and a shower.

For more information visit:  or visit Youth Health WSLHD on Facebook.  

The find out more about Hills Daily Grind or like the Hills Daily Grind page on Facebook.