Success Story Vanessa Clelland of the Mission Engage Program by Father James Grant Foundation

Another Mission Engage Success Story: Vanessa Clelland

When Vanessa Clelland first heard of Fr James Grant’s Mission Engage Youth Program, she wasn’t sure she was interested in taking up the opportunity. It’s a step she’d never taken before.

It was the collective suggestion from both the team at the program and the community services group, Youth Project, that persuaded her to give it ago.

It was a decision that would change her life.

Vanessa’s confidence had never been high. She was a shy child who always had so much to give. She did, however, tell herself that she could be anything that she aspires to be, so once committed she gave it her all.

Her journey went from strength to strength as she took up every opportunity to listen, to learn, and to be heard. She reached out to every mentor who spoke, gaining any information and guidance she could, aiding in her rapid development as a person whilst quickly expanding her way of thinking about life and work.

Through the Mission Engage Youth Program, Vanessa realised that the pathway to employment takes on many journeys. She took her creative skills and put her best foot forward in securing multiple job interviews.



While her nerves remained, this time she embraced them. Through her learning from the program, she now has not one but two positions. One with the national retailer, Myer, and the other at Crown Melbourne. Go Vanessa!

She is just as much a part of her decisions as her current employees. We could not be more proud of her development.


“I would not be where I am today had I not gone on this journey and attended the Mission Engage Youth Program.” – Vanessa Clelland.



MISSION ENGAGE: We do not do it alone

To assist participants like Vanessa, the Father James Grant Foundation works with business to share real workplace experience while arming our participants with the life skills and attributes that make them valued employees now and into the future.

We utilise two forms of business involvement to accomplish this: funding and workplace training. And we are fortunate to have a stellar line-up of large and small businesses supporting our goals.

They include big name corporations like Crown, Dentsu-Mitchell’s, Southern Cross, Federation Square, and Myer, but we also rely on the assistance of smaller businesses looking to contribute to Australia’s future employment landscape.


Each Mission Engage program runs for four weeks and is tailored to suit the businesses involved.

It encompasses:

  • Practical Skills to improve professional behaviour, time management and organisational skills
  • Physical Activities to build confidence and pride in capabilities and appearance.
  • Psychological Support to develop positive mental health, resilience and emotional intelligence.
  • Workplace Experience gaining insights into workplaces, culture and expectations.
  • Mentoring to experience ‘real life’, building positive role models and networks.

Since its inception more than three years ago, Mission Engage has assisted hundreds of young people to find valuable employment at a time when youth unemployment is at its highest in years.

How business can assist

We have two avenues available for businesses looking to take part in our program.

  • You can assist with much-needed funding to support our programs.
  • You can work with us to tailor a workplace experience package directly suited to your industry needs.

Either way, our programs deliver real results for real people like Vanessa, and make a tangible difference to young people seeking employment.

Contact us

To learn more about working with Mission Engage, see here, or contact us directly to register your interest and support.



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