Our Founder Ricky was born into a family where his parents suffered drug dependency . By age 12 he experienced social anxiety, school refusal and was struggling significantly. Fortunately, Ricky's Grandma stepped in, and he went to live with her. The move to his Grandma's house was the catalyst for enrolment and completion of a course at Eastern Health that changed his life. He gained skills that gave him the confidence to move schools, and with the support of his Grandparents, was in a much healthier place.
Ricky was 14 and 9 months when at Grandma's prompting, he got his first part-time job. Suddenly he realised money brought independence and gave him a measure of control over his future. Ricky worked hard and by age 16 was working two part time jobs, after school and on weekends. Due to having significant gaps in his education when he was younger, he decided to leave traditional schooling and instead pursued a career as a Chef. He excelled and won prizes for his work, he was even offered an opportunity at a restaurant in San Francisco! Ultimately, Ricky decided the life of a Chef wasn't for him; instead, he went back to school to become a Plumber. 12 years later, he's 33 and runs his own successful plumbing business.
In 2019, Ricky shattered his foot, causing him to have time off work. With time to think about what's important in life, he made the decision to give back. It was during this time Ricky rented a space and refurbished it completely to create a facility for at-risk and disadvantaged youth. 4Tk (For the Kids) was officially born.
Little did Ricky know, a global pandemic was about to hit and he'd be faced with two years rent and utilities on a facility that youth couldn't access due to lockdowns. Despite facing numerous set-backs, he demonstrated persistence and pushed on to ensure 4TK would open it's doors. With restrictions eased, he has now employed two staff members, and 4TK is being utilised by community groups.
Ricky is a capable young man, with a lived experience and a heart to help kids.