Did you know that the number of youth that reported feeling valued in their community in a 2008 survey of 2100 Mission high school youth was 17 per cent?
What does it mean to be a youth in 2012? High school years have always carried a reputation of being a tumultuous time for youth. However, there is ample evidence our current time has never been more challenging.
Beyond the pressures students face in high school — which can be extensive such as bullying, violence, suicide, drug use and family breakdown — youth and young adults are now confronted with increased post secondary stresses such as affordability, high levels of student loan debt, tighter restrictions on student loan approval and an increase in young adults caught in the sandwich generation (caring for small children and aging parents). With all of this to deal with, how is a community to help?
Challenge Days are just one example of community partnerships stepping up to the plate in Mission. Initiated by Fraser House Society in partnership with community organizations, a Challenge Day is a one-day workshop for high school-aged youth who are led by skilled facilitators in exploration and understanding that they are not alone dealing with their problems. Since 1987, Challenge Day has served more than one million youth in 400 cities, 45 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces.
Youth Fest is another example of stellar community partnerships working together to provide a day of recognition and celebration of Mission’s young people. Starting out as Mission Amateur Skateboard Competitions or (MASC Events), this annual event offers youth a day of fun and activities, including a skateboard competition and a youth dance. Posters are up in high schools right now inviting youth input to the second event. If you know a youth in Mission, encourage them to speak up and add to the poster in their school.
A one-hour educational talk is happening March 28, which aims to help attendees learn about supporting youth through the school years, moving from external coercion to internal motivation.
It happens at the Leisure Centre, 7650 Grand St., from 7 to 8 p.m. Children are welcome, and snacks and activities will be available. There will also be a draw prize of two Whistler/Blackcomb passes.
Please RSVP to Kirsten Hargreaves at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 604-820-3752.
Kirsten Hargreaves is the District of Mission's manager of social development. For more information visit www.search-institute.org.