Bringing New Depth
|Kick-off assembly at WGSS!|
“Motivated by our faith, you will find us engaged in the everyday lives of teenagers.”
This statement is as true during summer as ever! Every season presents itself with new opportunities, and without school bells, homework or deadlines, there are more opportunities for adventure with all types of youth from our community.
If you have been tracking with us for a while now, you’ll know that every summer we get the opportunity to help with a transitional summer school program called Gator Shades up at Walnut Grove Secondary. If you are unfamiliar with it, this is a program for students in grade 7 who are going into grade 8. The aim is to help them with their transition into one of the largest high schools in BC. It’s fun, practical and a great way to build relationships before September even comes around.
This past August while I was on vacation, Amy was doing just that. She was able to get outside and host activities for youth and young adults all over the Mainland! This included bike rides at Derby Reach, hikes at Lindeman Lake & Hunter Trail, the water slides with the East Van YU team and walks at the Othello tunnels.
Well, one day on a bike ride with a young adult, they looked down at their fancy watch and exclaimed that their heart rate was over 200 bpm. They looked up at Amy and said that the last time they saw their heart rate that high was when they used meth regularly.
Amy recounted with me how everything, “looked hopeless for so long [5 years], but now there are so many positive things happening in their life. The whole bike ride and the moment with the watch was a reminder of how long, painful and discouraging this journey has been at times. So now, to get this reminder through their heart rate of all the positive choices and steps toward health and sobriety they’re taking is really amazing.” This person has been clean for over a year now (wahoo!).
Coming up, we are looking forward to entering into more of these stories and serving schools once again, bringing new depth to our programs and relationships. We will be starting creative life drop-in again soon, partnering with an after school club, and investing into the lives of teenagers through mentoring, one-on-ones, shared adventures, and any avenue to create memories and build lifelong relationships.
Join us once again as friends and partners as we go to the places youth are, invest into their lives, speak up for them, bring spaces of growth to wherever they are, and inspire all the hope and potential that lives inside of our young people in this community.
- Jon Pue