This post was inspired by United Way’s Imagine a City blog and was written by a group of talented and passionate youth members of Delisle Youth Services’ Youth Engagement Committee.
Delisle Youth Services has created a safe haven for youth in high schools with their in-school counselling program. Delisle has placed child and youth workers in high schools who youth can visit for any reason, whether they are having a mental health issue or just need a break from the daily stressors of school life. The counselors maintain a welcoming environment and always have an open door.
Delisle also offers an alternative to the mainstream high school with their day program. The day program is a school and a safe space, where youth who are unable to cope with mainstream high school can go to escape some of the more hectic and stressful aspects of school life. The day program has small and relaxed classes, child and youth workers on hand, and is a place where the youth know that they matter. The teachers and child and youth workers at the day program care about their students and try to take an active role in their life. This is a place where students do not need to be scared of being ignored, ostracised, or condemned for who they are. The day program will also teach youth the tools to move on to the next chapter of their life.
The Studio is a Delise operated youth drop-in center where youth can drop by, relax, and be themselves in a judgment-free space. The Studio runs many activities that give youth the opportunity to try things out in a pressure-free environment. The Studio has a recording studio where youth can make music; it has countless art supplies, and different workshops on issues relevant to youth. The Studio is also home to the STARS Project which is specifically for LGBTQ youth. The STARS Project is especially important because it gives LGBTQ youth a space where they are surrounded by people who understand and support them. With The Studio, Delisle has created a supportive youth-driven community.