YOUTHS and teens in their adolescent years have a lot going on.
They're going through a phase that will prepare them for what's ahead.
Some get it right later in life by following good company or achieving their goals, others fall behind or get caught up with negative influences.
Whatever the case, Joe Logayau believes there is always time to make things right.
A youth leader and volunteer for the Prison Fellow and Family Ministry, Joe spent the past month mentoring Aborigine teen, Dennis Haines Jr on the responsibilities of a good youth leader.
It was not always this way for 27-year old Joe who left his day job as a sales executive to volunteer at the ministry three years ago.
The move was the first step to realising a true passion to become a pastor and continue mission work with members of the community, and youths in particular.
"I've always wanted to be a pastor from the time I was in primary school at Marist Brothers' in Suva," said the Naweni Villager, Cakaudrove vasu Rewa, who went on to complete secondary school at St John's College on Ovalau.
"I spent three years working for National Hire as a sales executive before leaving work to concentrate on full-time volunteer work. As a youth leader, I organise visitations to prisons, skits, drama and concerts.
"There are about 16-20 youths from different denominations and we come together to share the word of God and lend our support to each other. I keep encouraging youths to stay on the right path and I know I have to lead by example.
"Just by encouraging them, I feel even more motivated and inspired to keep on doing this work.
"It's different from the workforce but it's something I've always wanted to do."
He said many youths had joined the ministry and left inspired more than ever to become positive and responsible citizens. While religion is not forced onto anyone, Joe says the youths come on their own freewill to mingle and socialise in a positive environment.
"Sometimes when a person tells me I've helped them through a situation or made a positive difference in their life, it really makes me feel like the work I'm doing is worthwhile," he said.
"People are different and sometimes when I find myself talking or sharing with someone who hangs around with bad company, I try not to give into their wants but instead provide them with words of encouragement and support.
"Just because I'm a youth leader doesn't mean I'm higher than everybody else. That's not what leaders do.
"They bring themselves down to grassroots level and socialise, blend and fit in. They understand situations and offer the best possible advice.
"In the end, a person's fate depends on their own choice. I can only offer support and words of encouragement but it's up to the youths what they want to make of their lives."
This week, he left for Australia to join Dennis and help establish a youth group on Palm Island.
He says getting to know Dennis helped him understand the social situations some youths are in.
On a normal weekday, you can find Joe and his fellow youths sharing inspirational stories to passersby at Sukuna Park. It's not so much the fact that they find their strength in the word of God but more on the belief that making a small change or difference in the lives of others is solace enough for a happy life.