Will Smith is committed to helping young people realise their potential.
The Tasmania Police Constable has been a mentor for nine years, working with Edmund Rice Camps Tasmania.
Starting out in the organisation when he was 15, Mr Smith said he sometimes got more out of the role than the kids he helped.
“The camps are awesome, it makes you feel happy, it makes you feel good and you get to meet people that are like-minded,” he said.
The 24-year-old has since been able to combine his love for helping young people and his passion for the force with Tasmania Police coming on board to work with the charity in 2014.
The police mentoring program allows recruits to take part in the camps at the end of their time at the academy, by volunteering for two days and mentoring a young buddy.
“The program is based on trying to actively involve young people with a role model in the community, which they may or may not already have,” Mr Smith said.
“We try and instill good values and morals and have a really good time with them as well – the kids walk away feeling special because the police officers have given the time to be with them.”
Edmund Rice Camps Tasmania executive officer Andrew Blackett was full of praise for volunteers like Mr Smith, who he said had great success in their role as leaders.
“When it comes to Will, everything's positive, everything is enthusiastic and everything is possible,” he said.
“Will does his job as he has to do it but he does it through the eyes of someone with compassion and with a real vision.”
Mr Blackett said the Tasmania Police program had been successful “beyond their wildest expectations”.
“It’s just been such an amazing success and a win-win situation for the kids and the police,” Mr Blackett said.
“We treat every child as a potential leader and the police are able see the kids as more than just the stigma attached to them and the kids see the police as these great people who just happen to wear a uniform.”
The volunteer-based organisation has been operating in Tasmania since 1985.