What People Are Saying

I am writing to thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you in the Youth Outreach Initiative Program this year. I decided to apply for a job at the Greg Moore Youth Centre (GMYC) because I thought it would tie in nicely with my previous teaching experience and be a useful opportunity as I begin my teaching career. I thought it would be a chance for me to work with the youth on a daily basis, much like teaching, and perhaps, make connections with the students in a different environment than the classroom. This experience has allowed me to see my students in a different light and has given me a more positive outlook of the youth in our community.

The relationships that I have built over this past summer have allowed me to feel more comfortable with students at school as I can now see how much there is to their lives outside of school. I have a better understanding of the various issues, family situations and life decisions that my students are facing outside on a daily basis. I now realize that no matter how challenging a student may sometimes be in the classroom, they can be friendly and sociable in a more comfortable environment such as the youth centre. These are the students that I can now guarantee will be on their best behaviour when they are in my class due to the relationships I have built with them over the summer.

Without a doubt, the most rewarding experience of the summer was the trip to Lake Lovely Water, which served as both a team-building exercise for staff and a morale-boosting experience for the youth. Many of the youth returned to the youth centre after the trip with much more confidence as well as a sense of belonging with the other people who were on the trip. A feeling of camaraderie amongst both the youth and the staff in the centre has been more evident since the trip. I truly think that I have developed as a youth worker and also grown as a person after surviving the challenging hike, seeing the natural beauty and scenery and witnessing how talented the youth can be outside of their normal, everyday environment. Because the experience has had such a profound impact on myself, I am sure that it has been a life-altering experience for the youth.

Working at the GMYC has been an extremely valuable experience that will help me for years to come as I am currently starting out as a teacher-on-call in School District 42 at both the elementary and secondary level. I hope that I will be able to continue to be involved with the centre next summer and can contribute to the continued success of the Youth Outreach Initiative Program.

Kevin Wallsmith