A Message From Our Youth

This month we asked one of our youth to write the main page for our newsletters. We asked them to be honest and open about what the hangar means to them. They came back with this amazing piece of writing:

A Message from a Hangar 17 Student...

The hanger is a wonderful home of creativity and friendship. It’s a place one can always feel welcome and at home. In the two and a half years I’ve been going, the space has evolved to be more welcoming, homey, and accepting to all those who come through.

Visiting the hanger is the biggest highlight of my week, there are always welcoming faces and an accepting environment. The hanger brews a wonderful sense of community and connection, it is the place where most of my friendships have been made and it’s our constant hangout place. The community environment that’s been built is a constant support through the stress of school.

On top of their wonderful art program, their “spiritual life” time has made a huge impact on my own view of the world and …

Welcome to "My Space"

Over the last 5 weeks I’ve been fortunate enough to come alongside my coworker Amy on a church tour that she has organized for our teens. A lot of these teens are people we have known and worked with for years now and, as a result, have a good depth of relationship. However, most aren’t comfortable enough to go to church on their own due to fear of being rejected because of their identity, cases of social anxiety, or just being a bit too rough around the edges. So, of course, we are happy to come alongside to help give them a glimpse of different churches and denominations and create opportunities to talk about those differences - what some believe versus others, and why there are so many. Cool, right? This leads to tons of awesome conversation points with young people where this is all new to them. I love this stuff! 
However, that hasn’t been my favourite part. My favourite part about this tour has been loading up our mini van that was donated to YU Langley and filling it with Kirs…

Pink Shirt Day

This past month in February, I spent time looking into the youth we work with and the exposure to bullying. February 27th is known as Pink Shirt Day; a day to wear pink and stand up against bullying. 
On the website Bullying Canada it says “The longer a child is bullied, the more likely they are to develop physical, emotional, and psychological scars that can last a lifetime. Bullying can be devastating, leaving children withdrawn, shy and insecure. Kids frequently suffer stomach aches, headaches, panic attacks, and nightmares. They can become unable to sleep – or may sleep too much.” Not only does this affect those being bullied, but the bullies themselves hurt because they have been hurt. It is an unhealthy cycle of youth trying to find themselves and causing hurt to many around them. 
I wanted to make a point to wear a pink shirt on February 27th so I created my own shirt to wear. Soon, I had people wanting one for themselves and ended up selling over twenty shirts. The best part …

The Gift of Presence

There were a lot of unexpected things that happened to me this last year. As you may have heard, there were a few sudden deaths in my family and friend circles, and some other life-altering events that have impacted my current life. Yet through the good and the bad, I am thankful for it all. Life has been fairly busy over the last few years and I realized that I have not been investing as much time into my friends and family as I would like. To make a long story short, I would really like to get together with you sometime this year and thank you for the time, effort and support you have given me over the years.

There are so many things that you have enabled me to do - just with your presence, your encouraging words, your love, and your support. You have enabled me to support youth through rehabilitation programs after an overdose, sit with them as they wait for the doctor, take youth to different churches in the community, encourage them on their hard days, provide some youth and fam…

Bringing Lost Souls Home

I was driving along one day when a small kitten darted out in front of my car.  As I was driving a long way off from any sort of residential neighborhood, I pulled over and walked back to find the little fellow.  I’m not much of a cat person but in this moment of finding an obviously terrified, semi-wild, young kitten with matted fur and dried blood on its face, compassion got the better of me and I just wanted to bring this guy home.  I knew that my house would be a much safer environment for him.  Providing safety for a hungry, hurting, kitty outweighed my lack of enthusiasm for having an animal live in our house.

As a youth worker, it is a similar experience. While going through the normal routines of the day, we notice when something is out of place.  We take the time to pull over, to investigate and to see what sort of response is needed.  Many youth are semi-wild due to a lack of proper human interaction with their families, such as abuse and neglect.  Other have faced unspeaka…

Getting to the Heart

My name is Megan Adam and I am the Executive Assistant for Langley Youth Unlimited, currently on maternity leave. I have worked with Derian for 4 years now and have seen him grow in so many different areas of his life during this time. Not only has he played a role in my own spiritual life but he also continues to make a positive impact for the students and Langley team.
One of the things I love about Derian is his willingness to ask the tough questions. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty and go right to the issues of the heart. This can be a bit of a shock to youth, who are often not ready to share on that level but because of his boldness, I have seen youth open up in ways that possibly would have not happened otherwise. Because of his bravery, youth’s lives are being changed. These questions and promptings are causing them to think about parts of their lives in ways they have not before, often times leading to reflection and desire for change.
I believe that when Derian sees …

People, Not Players

As some of you already know I have had the opportunity to coach basketball at H.D. Stafford. It started out as an assistant coaching position with a teacher who works at the school. We started hosting practices and as the numbers of grade six girls kept pouring in, it became evident that I would be coaching a team on my own. I wasn’t sure I was ready for the responsibility of thirteen girls - taking them to games, coaching them, and helping them develop character in the face of a loss. But then there it was, game day.

As I loaded the girls on the bus they were excited to go to Yorkson Creek Middle School for their game. For many of these girls, it was the very first basketball game they had played outside of gym class. Little did they know it was the very first basketball game I had coached outside of basketball camps. I really wasn’t sure how the girls would play under pressure and unfortunately the first game was very discouraging for them. They were out-matched and just trying to …