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JEN Shaw left school in Year 9 and became a mother at just 16, but she is using her own experiences to help our city’s youth in a unique way.

Mum-of-seven Mrs Shaw has created a new social enterprise called Emerge, a catering business and dedicated space for disengaged and at-risk youth in Toowoomba.

“For us, it’s helping young people in Toowoomba who are disengaged from school or the community, they might be living in foster homes and things like that,” she said.

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WHEN Jen Shaw was a teenager, she used to hang out at Grand Central and McDonald's, feeling there was little for Toowoomba's youth to do.

Fast forward a decade and a half and she's more interested in a cup of tea and a chat, but as a mother of seven she's pretty aware not much has really changed for young people.

It got her wondering what might change if young people had a constructive place to go and mentors when they got there.

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Pete Evans Supports Youth Project

CELEBRITY chef Pete Evans has thrown his support behind a new initiative in Toowoomba to help disengaged youth.

Mother-of-seven Jen Shaw has recently created a new social enterprise called Emerge, a catering business and dedicated space for disengaged and at-risk youth in Toowoomba.

Having a rough start in life, she knows what it is like to need support at a young age. She just finished the pilot program for girls which was aimed at goal setting, cooking skills, nutrition and physical activity.

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VIDEOS

Story on WIN News.

https://www.facebook.com/WINNewsToowoomba/videos/1496467737055862/

Story on NINE News

https://www.facebook.com/9NewsDarlingDowns/videos/150953298878323/