Before Thomas Hoppe came into contact with Dubbo's PCYC he was a quiet teenager prone to angry outbursts.
Now after completing a groundbreaking 10-week program he has secured a volunteer position with the organisation, built his self-esteem up and developed a greater appreciation for the benefits of work.
The 17-year-old was an inaugural participant in the NSW Police and PCYC Fit For Work program, which helps get disengaged young people ready for work and diverts some of them from what could become a life of crime.
"Originally I got into a little bit of trouble at home and the police had to come and take me back to the station," he said.
"One of the officers recommended I take the course so I did and now I'm here."
Mr Hoppe moved to Dubbo from Gloucester three years ago and took part in the Fit for Work program with about 12 other people every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday when it was delivered in the city for the first time earlier this year.
"At first I was a bit iffy about it but then I kept going.
"It was definitely worth it... you got to interact with different people, do different activities and got good qualifications that'll help you find jobs."
Through the Fit For Work program, Mr Hoppe successfully obtained a qualification that will support him to work in a retail business, a white card to permit him to work on a construction site and first-aid certificate many employers regard as essential.
His life has changed in many ways, all for the better, since he signed up to do the fit for work program.
"When I started I was very quiet and then I started opening up," Mr Hoppe said.
"I had to go on a heap of different medications [because of mental health] but now I'm not on any medications [after completing the fit for work program]."
Before he started the program Mr Hoppe said he encountered police numerous times, dropped out of school, lost his job and spent a lot of time on the computer.
"I would be at home," he said when asked what would he'd be doing if hadn't completed the Fit For Work program.
Through the program Mr Hoppe secured an ongoing role at the PCYC and now he volunteers four days a week and works with new Fit For Work program participants.
"During the end of the day they used to open up the gymnasium and I used to go in and start doing gymnastics...the gymnastics coach saw me doing it and came up to me and said that I should come in and volunteer so I did that," he said.
"I just like work in general, without work it's very boring and it's better to do something constructive rather than not do anything," he said.