Showing posts from 2016

Langley Youth Unlimited

We need this for the hangar!

Langley Youth Unlimited

Our administrators husband, Matthew Adam, is putting his mullet on the line as a fundraiser for Langley Youth Unlimited. Are you a fan of mullets and the controversy that surrounds them? Donate here to keep it! - Hate mullets, or want to keep his wife (and our beloved administrator) happy? Donate here to lose it! - The competition runs until midnight on December 31st. Save the mullet, or lose it?

Langley Youth Unlimited

We are community Youth Workers based in Langley, BC and a part of Greater Vancouver Youth Unlimited (

Langley Youth Unlimited

We are community Youth Workers based in Langley, BC and a part of Greater Vancouver Youth Unlimited (

Langley Youth Unlimited

We are community Youth Workers based in Langley, BC and a part of Greater Vancouver Youth Unlimited (

Langley Youth Unlimited

Motivated by our faith in the example of Jesus by holistically loving others

Langley Youth Unlimited

Motivated by our faith in the example of Jesus by holistically loving others

Langley Youth Unlimited

Motivated by our faith in the example of Jesus by holistically loving others

Langley Youth Unlimited

Motivated by our faith in the example of Jesus by holistically loving others

Langley Youth Unlimited

Jon's November Update

“Hey, can we talk? I knew you’d be here and my teacher said it was okay if I came to see you.”

I heard this just the other day while at Walnut Grove Secondary School. As I thought back on it, I realized a few things. Firstly, I have been fully accepted into this school by the staff and teachers.
Secondly, it tells me that my time invested and my continual presence is paying off.

With spending full days at the school, I figured I’d have time to book some fundraising appointments, work and plan our Spiritual Life program, or prep tasks for our Lifeteams interns and so on, but this has not been the case! I am seldom in my room for more than ten minutes before I’m met by either a student dropping in to talk, a counsellor wanting to connect me with a student having a hard time, or a principal needing extra support with an extremely difficult student. I’m blown away by the acceptance I have experienced from the students and the staff and I trust that the best is still yet to come


The Reality of Youth Work

As the past two months have gone by, I have found myself in new waters with a very unfamiliar and unsettling reality that I was warned about early on by my coworkers. Discouragement.

I had been trucking along for the last few months with not even a glimpse of such things until I woke up one morning and, suddenly, felt surrounded by it. While I was driving to the office to get some work done, I considered the possibility of this discouragement as a time to grow and I began to feel at peace. My mood lightened and I felt like I was able to continue my work with more enthusiasm than when I had awoken that morning.

Growth comes in the hardest of places and it always involves a struggle. However, the labour is never in vain. Sure enough, as with most things in life, this mental shift allowed me to cycle out of the discouragement. With this peace I had received, I was able to put myself to work and plan more meetings.

I have had the opportunity these past couple of weeks to go much deeper w…

Megan's November Update

In September, Matt and I made the decision to volunteer our Wednesday nights with two of the programs that Langley Youth Unlimited offers out of our hangar space. Both of us have quite an extensive background in volunteering with youth, mostly within a church setting, so this was something new to us. Many of the youth that come through our doors are in need of significant adult support. This year we have youth within the foster care system, youth caught in the middle of their parent’s divorce, youth who have recently lost a parent and youth who are dealing with the daily struggles of fitting in. Some come from broken homes, others currently do not have a home. Some are battling addiction and self-harm, others contemplating whether to leave the house on a daily basis due to bullying. It is heavy.

There are two components to our Wednesday programming. The first is our art program, Creative Life, that runs simultaneously with our youth drop-in. After sharing a meal together, we invite t…

November Update

I can’t believe that it is November already! The last time I wrote a letter, this whole year was hypothetical and now I am sitting here assessing the beginnings and working on ending the calendar year well. Here are a couple of updates from the different programs I’m involved in:

Momentum: The teenagers have met their mentors and have even gone out on their first outings. I am so excited about the Trinity Western University students who are volunteering their time with the Momentum students and the impact they’re going to have!

Street Life: We just launched our new program, Street Life, and are so excited to be jumping in to new relationships and providing a new safe place for youth to hang out on Friday nights. If you want to check it out or tell some youth about it, we are primarily serving Grades 6-8 (with some wiggle room) from 6-8 PM on Fridays @ Yorkson Creek Middle School.

Creative Life: Normally I spend my time at Creative Life hanging out with the youth that aren’t artistica…

Langley Youth Unlimited

Amazing artwork being produced this fall by youth in our Creative Life studio in Langley.

Langley Youth Unlimited

Attention Students: Bus pick up times at your school will be at there regularly scheduled time and location this week

Langley Youth Unlimited

We were honored to be nominated for a community impact award through the Langley Chamber of Commerce. To even be mentioned alongside other great businesses and agencies was a privilege that we will not take for granted. We are proud to be a part of the community of Langley and look forward of many more years of working to make it an even better place to live. We're not in this work to win awards but it was amazing to have community recognition. Thank you to whomever thought us worthy enough to even nominate us.

Hit the Ground Running

The summer has come and gone in a giant whirlwind. With the new school year here, we have been preparing for a few changes for the coming school year.

I am continuing to run a gym blast program at lunch period at the new middle school in the area. This helps continue to foster relationships with students and teachers in the school. This includes working in partnership with the school to help provide more opportunities for students to have healthy and safe interactions with adults and to provide programs where students can feel safe.

The biggest change that is coming this fall is starting up a mobile drop in centre for middle school aged students in the area. The goal is to provide them with a safe place with good adult role models around that they can trust. This new program will be a great asset to the community since there are not many options or programs for young students to attend at this point in time, especially if they are not involved in after school programs that are provid…

Long-Term Investments

One of the challenges of our work that’s subtly different than working with youth in a church is that beyond the relationships we have with youth, we don’t have a natural feeder system for our programs. In a church, parents are usually encouraging or even mandating their kids to go to youth group. For a community youth worker, the typical reason kids are coming is because of their relationship with you, your volunteers or your youth. This means that almost every September we see a drop in attendance because a bunch of youth have graduated and we don’t have that freshman surge of new youth yet. They don’t come because we likely haven’t met them yet. Our programs are almost always a couple of years away from becoming a ghost town.

  For this reason, I always encourage our staff to spend a lot of time with the grade 8’s and 9’s or even younger. That can be hard when the deeper relationships and conversations typically happen with older students and so it feels more “productive” to foc…

Take A Risk

One of my roles on our team is to lead the Creative Life program, which is a weekly after school art club that we host. The point of this program is to provide a space of connection, to encourage creativity and to foster conversation about life through the use of the arts.

  Getting some of these youth to participate in the creative component can be challenging.  Many people have a hard time accepting themselves as artists because they compare to what others can do or get frustrated that the vision in their head is not what comes out on paper.  However, part of my job is to model a healthy approach to challenge.  And so I dive into art projects that stretch me, not only to try it, but to complete it. Some of these things are hard and it would be easier to give up.

  When we get past our frustrations and complete something, even if it is not perfect, we can build self-confidence.  We need self-confidence to not only make it as artists, but also to function in life.  At that point we c…

Introducing: Hugo

Name: Hugo Archambault
Title: Community Youth Worker
Start Date w/ YU: August 2016
Favourite Part of Working w/ Langley YU: Getting to serve the Lord alongside people who are passionate about loving teens.
What Brought Me to the Team: Over the past 5 years I have been involved in many types of ministry, from church groups, summer camps to para-church organizations. After hearing what YU was doing in Langley, I had to check it out! I attended a few of their art programs and fell in love with what they were doing and wanted to be a part of it.

Spouse: Kendra
Date I Was Married: Jun. 17, 2016
Where I Grew Up: Laval, Quebec
High School: Caronport High School

Spare Time Activities: Hockey, adventures with my wife
Food: Pizza
Book of the Bible: John
Movie: Home Alone

Signs from the Homeless

It’s an interesting thing to put your feelings on a sign and hold it up for the community to see. Their faces, the way their eyes move over your features, and then the emotions. By gods, the emotions. It was almost overwhelming; pity, shame, anger, fear. It goes on, and on, and on. It’s amazing how people think, so different from yourself.

  I’m sure you’ve heard of what we’ve done, but to sum it up, we brought awareness to homeless people by writing our own signs and standing outside and letting the community take it from there.

  I was standing with two of my friends, at a crosswalk. One held a sign that said “Even Our Demons Need Love,” whilst mine said “I lost the will to live for nearly three years.” It says a lot, just those small phrases, and many people reacted with contempt or irritation towards us. I’d like to say that it’s because we were standing at a crosswalk, and we did manage to block up traffic at most points, but it was because they stopped to read our signs, not …

Prayer Requests

- pray for the students that we will come in contact this school year - pray for wisdom for our staff as we walk alongside them and for positive transformation in their lives

- as we step into the start of our programs, pray for peace within our staff

- praise God that our new staff, Rachel, has been able to begin working at 2 days a week!

- pray for our staff candidates, who continue to fundraise

- praise God for the favour we have received from the schools we are privileged to walk through

Thoughts On Savannah

Writing newsletters is one of the weirdest parts of our jobs. We have to find a way to make a subtle brag about our work in order to truly show the people who make it possible (you) that God is doing amazing things at Langley YU. It’s a lot easier, however, to brag about our coworkers. This last year I have seen Savannah do amazing work at Youth Unlimited. She has a strong core group of youth who continually come to her for advice and support. She talks openly about her faith and isn’t afraid of telling people how much her faith means to her. I know that Savannah is doing the work that God desires of her, and she’s doing it well. That’s why I support her $100 every month. It’s not because I have a bunch of extra money, it’s because I see her walking where Jesus is leading her and doing what she was made to do. And that’s why you should support her too. Maybe it’s $5 a month or maybe it’s $5000, I don’t know. But I do know you should consider it.

- Thomas Murtland

Hello! My name is Jo…

The Start of Fall

I was warned heading into this summer that the summertime is a very different season of youth work. My natural assumption was that with the more time that teens had free, the easier it would be to hang out. My, much more experienced, co-workers told me that I was wrong. While school was out, a lot of teens kept quite busy. Summer is also a time when our programs take a break to regroup and prepare for the year ahead, so we spend a lot more time at our desks and in conversations and prayer.

   In an adventure-ish spirit, a co-worker and I decided to try to combat this lull in youth work by running a Youth Alpha program for the youth in our programs who had recently expressed interest in getting to know Jesus better or getting to know about Jesus for the first time. As all people expect the first time they run a program, we expected more people than we should have. However, over the summer the consistent group of teens that showed up week after week stunned me in their desire to dig…

Friends and Family

I found this summer went by quite quickly for me.

In July, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Gator Shades program run at Walnut Grove Secondary School. This program is set up as a transition piece for students in grade 7 who are entering into grade 8 in the fall. Elementary schools work to identify some students who will likely be lost or struggle with the transition coming into a large school (1900+ students this year). The students then apply to enter this program that is run by the school with a few teachers and supported by Youth Unlimited. The program combines some practical pieces, such as learning their way around the school, how to use a lock, where their classes are, etc., with lots of fun activities. Activities like out trips to the Circus Lab, Salmon farm, a rescue animal farm, mini golf, as well as art projects and activities hosted by us. It also provides a setting for the students to learn and grow socially, making new friends before the first day of school.


What I Have Been Up To!

Hello everyone! I thought I would use my September newsletter to give you an exciting update! Thanks to your support I am currently at two days a week! I will give you an overview of how I spent my weeks this summer.

I would often be making calls in the day, setting up meetings or just thanking you for your support. I never thought I had it in me to make so many phone calls but I proved myself wrong. It has been challenging to stare at the list of names and know that I need to get through all of them. As I fought the mental battles and thoughts of failure, I continued to press on with diligence. Thanks to your
generosity through prayer, finances or an encouraging word, I have reached my first goal.

As I have gone through the list of people who I know, I have come to a place where I must ask these people for referrals. It is incredible to see who I have been able to meet through this process and I feel blessed to have these new people come along side me.

As well as calls and meetings,…

Thriving in the Desert

In my last letter I wrote about how, like the Israelites, the wilderness is a more common experience for myself than those promised land moments. It’s funny how that letter has shaped my summer. A few hours after I wrote it, I received a call from Daybreak Bible Camp asking me to consider speaking for a week. I decided the best way to say “No” was to read them my letter. Who wants a
spiritual wet blanket for a teen camp speaker? Fortunately, it didn’t work out the way I thought it would. So the last week of August, the boy’s and I packed up, kissed Allison goodbye and headed off on our summer camp adventure. Can you guess what message God gave me to speak to 95 teens? Yup! God expanded that one-page prayer letter into a week’s worth of rich talks.

Honestly, that week at camp was the most encouraging week of ministry I’ve experienced this year. Most of my time is spent in schools where we don’t talk about Jesus. Coming to our programs are mostly with community youth who only want Jesu…

The Art of Coaching

This past year I was involved in coaching my son’s little league baseball team. I enjoyed developing a sense of team with these young and energetic boys.  There were also times when it could be frustrating that the boys seemingly forgot the skills that we practiced and have them completely forget these things during the actual game. As the coach, I could not play the game for them. Despite the practice, and the plans I made, the reality was that the actual outcome was out of my control.  I felt at times as though being a coach was little more than being a spectator with a better seat.

Perhaps there is someone in your life for whom you are in a coaching role.  It could be a co-worker, a child, a friend, a client or anyone else.  How do you handle it when you see things slipping out of control?  Do you rush in to save the day or do you let them fail?  Do you lecture them about responsibility or let them face the natural consequences?

How is that working?  How are they responding to you…

Realizations of a Wannabe Youth Worker

As a teen involved with the staff and programs at Youth Unlimited for the past 3 years, I was nervous about joining the team as an intern. My biggest fear was that I would to be treated like a kid instead of a full team member. These worries were quickly removed when I was asked to help with a variety of projects I would have never imagined doing. I was able to engage in fundraising for coworkers, be apart of preparing for major projects that are starting up in the fall, and was assigned normal, everyday tasks that youth workers have to do on a regular basis. I really felt like a part of the team.

  Out of everything, fundraising was my favorite. Now, it could be because going out for coffee is one of my favourite ways to pass the time, but when going for coffee is combined with talking about how Langley Youth Unlimited staff made an impact in my life, I get really excited. Of course sharing my story with random strangers can be a tad bit nerve-racking, but it also meant that more s…

Introducing: Rachel

Name: Rachel Tapp
Title: Youth Worker
Start Date w/ YU: May 2016
Favourite Part of Working w/ Langley YU: The supportive team
What Brought Me to the Team: The youth pastor at my church wanted to be sure that I liked working with youth before helping at the church youth group. He had me attend a drop in program at Walnut Grove Secondary. Over time I met the YU staff that worked there and did a practicum with them the
following fall. I volunteered with them for approximately two years.

Where I Grew Up: Aldergrove
High School: DW Poppy
Post-Secondary: Trinity
Western University (Sociology)

Spare Time Activities: Seeing friends, visiting the nuns, long boarding and chin-ups
Food: Donuts and strawberry milkshakes
Book of the Bible: Romans and Deuteronomy
Movie: Me, Earl and the Dying Girl and 9

Langley Youth Unlimited

Hey friends. We have a new mobile drop-in center program starting in a couple weeks. It will be hosted out of a utility trailer and we need a vehicle to pull it to Yorkson Middle School on Friday evenings. Anyone willing to drag a trailer around for us or know if a cheap (or free) vehicle we can acquire to make this program a reality? Please let us know ASAP. Thanks!

Langley Youth Unlimited

Many thanks to Darryl Bueckert for lending us his photography skills at our Creative Life (Langley) program tonight. Youth were encouraged to use their artistic expression to share our beliefs and ideas with the greater community. That art can actually be used to start conversations, to make us think about our world and even just to be heard. That expression came in a group performing art piece where youth created a sign that represented themselves in some way. (facts about them, their beliefs, their perspective on an issue, hopes and dreams that they have) We then took these signs to the streets of Langley, displaying the signs for the world to see. It was an amazing social experiment. It was an interaction that won't soon be forgotten. Be on the lookout for the finished photos but for now check these out.

Langley Youth Unlimited

Our Creative Life program launched tonight. Check out some of the creations that were made from cardboard.


Relationships are the foundation of work with youth. In a world where it seems impossible to trust
because people tend to have ulterior motives or frankly just don’t care, it becomes immensely important that trust is established between myself and the youth I am in contact with. And that trust takes time and effort.

You might wonder why we take them to do activities like Castle Fun Park where it’s hard to have a
conversation because of the amount of loud video games and screaming children. Shared experiences are a strong binder in relationships which is exactly what this is. It is breaking the ice between getting to know them and them trusting you. It also allows them to see me in an environment interacting with other people who I am not “working” with. They are able to see if I can live out the way I say I do, which is often a discrepancy among others.

For myself, I love the challenge of getting to know people which makes this job all the more exciting. I also enjoy the time and eff…

Summer Plans

I really don’t know where to start with this newsletter. I want to share with you the victories; the words of encouragement, the conversations about Jesus, the good decisions and memories. I also want to share with you the new hurts and pains; the broken relationships, the self doubts, the poor decisions. I want to share with you the programs: the end of another year of Momentum, the beginning of Youth Alpha, the Youth Art Show. There’s really too much. The end of the school year brings with it huge changes. Many programs end, some new ones start, and teens get a lot more free time. Right now we are experiencing a huge interest from the teens in who Jesus is. If you’re a praying person, prayers for continued receptivity/openness are much appreciated.

As I head into the summer, people seem to be interested in how I’ll be spending my days, Here is a quick run through of what you could expect to see me doing this summer. Primarily, I will be hanging with my friends who are youth. They’r…

Celebrating Change

June is a very busy month with year end parties and high school graduations. The end of high school, for many teenagers, is not always as exciting and joyous as most people make it out to be. For many of the youth we work with, high school is one of the only constant and stable places they have in their lives. Home life isn’t always easy and school has been a place for them to leave that behind and try to get away from some of the brokenness at home. While it can be a very exciting time handing in your last papers, buying your grad dress or tuxedo and hoping someone will ask you as their date to grad, the excitement can be lost behind the real anxiety and nervousness of what is to come. When I graduated it was a happy time and even though I didn’t have an exact plan I had people in my life supporting me.

I really wanted to do something special for two teenage girls who were graduating this year because I can empathize for the changes that are to come. I wanted to make these girls fee…

Getting Started

I hope this newsletter reaches you well.

Through the last two years I have been able to volunteer with Youth Unlimited Langley in helping to improve teenager’s lives through a paradigm of holistic health. Whether it was through playing sports at Nights Alive, having deep conversation through one on ones after school or just making small talk in the smoke pit. I have grown to see the need for healthy adult relationships in the lives of today’s teens that seem to be facing adverse situations, many that I have not faced in myself.

As my practicum with Youth Unlimited came to a close I knew that I was being led to work with this organization. Youth Unlimited Langley is very relationally focused and I seemed to fit in with the team well.

As of May first, I have been hired on as a youth worker to assist in spreading love and care for these teenagers in the Langley community. I have found my specific place in the organization where I feel like I will be most impactful and that fits well wit…

Hold Fast

This past month and a half hasn’t been the easiest for me. So far in my career as a youth worker I feel like this last little while has been a great example of what living in the middle of the mess of people’s lives looks like. Anxious crisis calls at midnight (on my birthday), fentanyl laced drugs causing overdoses in Langley (including some students we’re connected with), youth homelessness (with only couches to surf), parties gone wrong (exploitation whether intentional or not), and suicide attempts from some of the most unsuspecting people.

Lord, have mercy.

Sometimes being surrounded by this can weigh a lot heavier on me than other days. Sometimes it feels like I can’t do much more than show up and be present, and honestly, that’s tough when you see and hear the things from young people that we do. Sometimes you just want to cringe and try to forget the scary reality you just heard. But this is my calling - I want to be in the mess of people’s lives. I truly care about the young…

Wandering in the Desert

As I write this I find myself walking through a spiritual desert. No this isn’t a victory story I’m writing about. You know the ones: how I once was lost but now I’m found. No, I still find myself very much in a dry and parched land. Perhaps you can relate?

Now I know that Jesus changes our lives and makes everything better… right? At least that seems to be the story we like to tell. Sure there’s room for the occasional desert (as long as it doesn’t last too long.) We like stories of victory and yet the bible is full of failures and broken people that God somehow in his mercy seems to use in spite of themselves. In fact, one of prevailing narratives of scripture is a story about wandering around in a desert wilderness for 40 years and this gives me hope in the midst of my mess.

I’ve come to realize my spiritual life follows the pattern of Exodus much more closely than I sometimes care to admit. It started off with celebration, as God’s power freed me from slavery and led me through t…

Ferguson Files

This may surprise you but I am not very good at small talk. I often feel awkward at social events where I feel an obligation to speak to others but feel as though I have nothing to say. It is ironic, isn’t it? I am in a position where I am consistently put in situations where I am trying to build relationships with strangers. To combat this, I have a list of questions that I have collected over the years to ask people to get the conversation moving. Some of these questions work better than others. For instance,
instead of asking someone “what do you do?” I find it better to ask someone, “How did you spend your time this past month?”

For example, if you asked me what I do, I could tell you that I am the Area Director for Youth Unlimited in Langley. But if you asked me how I spent my time this past month, and if you had the time to listen, this is what I could tell you:

I sat with a young person as she shared her story of heartache, abuse, neglect and abandonment. When I asked why she …

Complexity and All My Zeros

Complex. It’s the word I would use to sum up all the things I’ve witnessed this past year. And I’ve seen many things.

I’ve witnessed intelligent, academically-minded students get high and wreck their cars.

I’ve watched kids get baptized then go on to become drug dealers.

I’ve heard transgendered youth talk about struggles with self-harm one day and encountering Jesus the next.

I’ve encountered some of the kindest, compassionate youth who have struggles with suicide and depression.

I’ve met teen moms and responsible parents and drop outs and sometimes they’re all the same person.

I’ve seen statistical-improbabilities overcome obstacles and graduate, cap and gown, into promising adults.

People are complex.

Brennan Manning said it best; “When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still pla…

End of the School Year

This school year has been awesome! There are so many things to be thankful for as I look back over the year and the connections I have made. As a result I am seeing more growth, both in the students I work with, and in myself. The longer I do this, the more I am blessed by the opportunities I have to see transformation in the lives of the people I hang out with. Like last night when I ran into one of my previous student volunteers and she yelled out at her work place “[That’s Amy!] she is the reason I am now a good kid”. This person was heading towards some hard life choices when I met her but she chose to give back to the community instead of following her friends into bad situations. It is such a cool opportunity to be able to provide a place where students can not only grow their leadership skills but also learn as a group, where they can develop solid friendships and know they are loved. I have you to thank for these stories because you support Youth Unlimited and provide the fun…

Summer Prayer Requests

- summer is not always met with excitement by all youth - pray for those who struggle as they lose the consistency school brought to their lives
- pray for the students who face new challenge and adventure as they graduate and join the ‘adult world’
- pray for our staff as we take some time this summer to vacation with family and regroup before the fall programs begin
- pray for the youth who will be a part of our Alpha program this summer

What Art Addicts Means To Me

At our 2016 Art Show, Brittany shared her experience with Langley Youth Unlimited. Here is what she had to say:

“I have been a part of Art Addicts since grade 10. I have now completed my first year of university and still continuously attend. This room and these people mean so much to me. I have met life-long friends here and every week someone new walks through those doors.

Originally, this was a place where I could be creative and express myself through art. Over the past four years I have seen this club grow into much more than just a creative space. It has become an area full of love, understanding, compassion and diversity. The workers here give ongoing support no matter the issue, sexuality, gender or age.

Personally, I have connected with Savannah Deepwell who has become like an older sister to me. She has helped me in so many ways and her support through my life decisions with relationships, school and family have been tremendous.

The youth whom attend this club find a great …

Applying Blindly

In October of 2014 I applied for an Administrative Assistant position with an organization I had vaguely heard of before. My husband and I had recently moved to Langley and I was looking for a job closer to home. In one day, three separate individuals suggested I apply for a job with Youth Unlimited (Youth For Christ). The job seemed perfect, combining my love for youth and my administrative skills. After having searched the Internet for a job description with no luck, I decided to blindly apply. Upon receiving my resume, the Langley Area Director replied with a ‘by the way, here’s the job description’. I could sense how badly they were in need of an administrator.

A year and a half later, my work with Langley Youth Unlimited can only be described as God’s answer to my prayers. My coworkers have a strong love for young people and are willing to meet them where they are, entering into the mess that is often their lives and helping advocate for them where needed. My team works to be th…

What Art Addicts Means to Me

At our 2016 Art Show, Brittany shared her experience with Langley Youth Unlimited. Here is what she had to say:

   “I have been a part of Art Addicts since grade 10. I have now completed my first year of university and still continuously attend. This room and these people mean so much to me. I have met life-long friends here and every week someone new walks through those doors.

   Originally, this was a place where I could be creative and express myself through art. Over the past four years I have seen this club grow into much more than just a creative space. It has become an area full of love, understanding, compassion and diversity. The workers here give ongoing support no matter the issue, sexuality, gender or age.

  Personally, I have connected with Savannah Deepwell who has become like an older sister to me. She has helped me in so many ways and her support through my life decisions with relationships, school and family have been tremendous.

   The youth whom attend this club …

Langley Youth Unlimited

Had a blast partnering with the Langley RCMP Detatchment to bring youth to a Vancouver Whitecaps FC game today.

Langley Youth Unlimited

Join us and any other local service agencies for Langley 4 Mental Health #LA4MH at Doulas Park. Happening now!

Fight Kits

This month I got the pleasure to help lead and participate in a girls-only event. The plan was for these young ladies to create “Fight Kits”. No, not a UFC training kit but a mental health first aid kit. Young people aged 15 to 24 are more likely to experience mental illness or disorders than any other age group and 70% of these mental health issues began during childhood or adolescence. I was very excited to not only engage in conversations regarding mental health but to also share my journey with an anxiety disorder to some of the youth. Mental health can be a tough subject to talk about and not everyone understands it. However, I think it should be talked about and shared because so many people, including youth, struggle with these issues on a daily basis, sometimes with no one to speak too about it.

  When someone is in a state of a panic attack, dealing with suicidal thoughts or eating disorders, your brain can become so debilitating your thinking can get out of sorts. This ha…

Growing Relationships

How long would you guess that it takes to build trust with students? For every student this number varies depending on who they are. For some it might be two weeks for others it might be multiple years. How much consistency does it take?

As some of you know I started volunteering in 2006. Since then I have committed myself to being a consistent presence in a number of students lives. Over that past few months I have had the opportunity to connect on a deeper level with some of the students that I have been working with long term. With one of these students it has taken just under 6 years to build trust. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be present in this person’s life and build this relationship by continuing to be present. It has been, and continues to be, such a privilege to help students learn and develop new leadership skills every week!

Being a part of students lives long term has been one of the coolest opportunities that I have encountered. Getting to watch someone grow…

Swatting the Flies

It’s spring time and the the house flies are out in force at my house. Perhaps you can relate to this warm weather battle? My first defense is usually the fly swatter but it doesn’t take long to realize that I need to actually deal with what was attracting the flies in the first place or they’ll be back tomorrow. Unfortunately for me cleaning up the dishes and taking out the garbage is so much more work than the fly swatter! In much the same way, it’s easy to focus on the bad behavior in a young person’s life. We try to swat those behavior flies instead of doing the hard work of dealing with the smelly stuff that’s attracting those flies.

What kind of smelly stuff am I talking about? Insecurity, fear of rejection, the inability to forgive, emotional traumas, mental illness, broken relationships, lack of safety or basic needs. Take my young friend who brags about all their destructive sexual encounters. It’s easy to condemn them but what I see is a young person who wants to be loved u…

Friends and Family

One of the amazing benefits to working as a team in this job is that it often takes more than one of us to reach through to someone. This past week Thomas and I, unknowingly at the time, did just that.

I was doing some rounds outside, having conversations with our young friends, when I noticed one of them, lets say, exercising a behavior he ought not to be. This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen this sort of behavior out of our young friend so, naturally, I called him out on it. There were some excuses, but I just pushed back and challenged him on it. Was it the gentlest approach? Definitely not. But I learned later it was quite effective. Afterwards, as he sat inside the Hangar, staring off into the distance, Thomas approached him and asked if he was okay- to which he said:

“The guy with the beard said something to me”

I wasn’t present for this part, but apparently it opened up into a great conversation between the two of them. I was blunt and honest and, thankfully, Thomas was t…