A New Year Brings New Challenges
|Lunch w/ my coworkers and a youth|
This past fall we began a new program called Street Life. Street Life is a Mobile Drop-In Center for youth operated by Youth Unlimited staff and university and high school volunteers from Trinity Western University and our Momentum program. The intent is to create a safe space for middle school youth in Langley to participate in. For more information on the dream and the program as a whole, please refer to the other article in this newsletter.
I was recently given leadership of this program and it has been challenging and a big learning curve taking complete leadership. For so long I have always been under someone else’s leadership and not needing to make the final decisions. I have been learning that the job of a youth worker is not as flashy and exciting as it may seem and I have been learning to accept failure. So far, as program leader, I have had to cancel programs due to weather, disappointing both youth and volunteers. For so long I have been programmed to follow in the shadow of others and do what they tell me. As I am growing and maturing, my team is teaching me about what it means to be a leader.
At the beginning of this year, restarting Street Life was very difficult. Some weeks we had no youth and I had to appear strong while inside, I felt like I had let everyone down. We have been working hard to have an increased presence among the students at Yorkson Creek Middle School during lunch times and have been encouraging them to get involved with this program. As we walk through the school handing out candy and sharing about the trailer, the excitement is evident in their eyes when we mention the hot chocolate and video games that will be available. Our numbers started out low in January, but the more we continue our presence in the school, the more youth come out on Friday nights. We have had a few setbacks due to the abnormal snow this season, but there is a buzz within the community about our program. The students want to be a part of what we have begun and the parents are supportive of us.
I am now less than three months away from graduating college and I am looking forward to working towards full time work with Youth Unlimited once I’m done. If you want to be involved with making a difference in the lives of youth in Langley, consider viewing me as an investment and sending me out.
- Savannah Deepwell