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Showing posts from April, 2016

Fight Kits

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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

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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

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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

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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…

Momentum Staycation

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Every year, a major part of our Momentum program is a Spring Break trip. In the past we have gone to California, but to allow more teens to join in on the fun this year we kept it local. I had some doubts. I was worried that this year’s simplicity would be overshadowed by the huge rides of Disneyland or the sunny beaches of California. Instead, I was amazed by the impact that was had by simply organizing fun games that had the teens working together.

From our silent hike to an Amazing Race all over Langley, the week was tiring. We ended the week with a giant conversation about what Momentum meant to the teens. As we went around the circle, I was amazed with the level of vulnerability coming from the students. With his permission, I’d like to share one student’s story. For most of his life he struggled with fitting in - he said that there were only a couple of people he could call a friend. Now he was sitting in a room filled with people he could call friends. He said that these were …

Item Requests

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Our year-end party is on June 8th. If you are willing to donate any of these items please contact Megan at langleyyu@youthunlimited.com or 604-557-6507

- 50 hamburger patties
- 20 veggie burgers
- 50 hamburger buns
- 50 hot dog buns
- cheese slices
- chips
- pop
- desserts (cookies, ice cream bars, etc.)

Langley Youth Unlimited

We are looking for some donated items to help lower costs for our Volunteer Appreciation night. We are looking for fruit trays, brownies, cookies, and other similar treats! If you are willing to donate one of these items please send an email to langleyyu@youthunlimited.com -Thanks!
http://ift.tt/1xSCcvc