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  • Writer's pictureKristy Colby-Pyle

We've Started a Youth Club!

Creating a Youth Club

The Phelps Helps Youth Club draws kids aged 12 to 17 to Phelps Helps for weekly social programming as well as monthly special programming that will include outings and guest animators.

All activities are in English and French, and cater to the diverse interests and needs of the region’s youth population. As a complement to Phelps Helps’ regular academic programming, the Youth Club responds to students’ need to socialize, break a sweat and build bonds.

Kids have a safe space conducive to healthy relationship-building that is vital to their development. They gain opportunities to

partake in social and physical activity with healthy refreshments on hand. Group activities allow participants to gain leadership skills and build confidence. The mixing of ages foster organic mentorship and role models, and the mixing of francophone and anglophone youth strengthen relations across linguistic communities. Our pilot project responds to post-pandemic recommendations outlined in studies conducted in our region.

Process to receiving funding

Phelps Helps staff secured $100,000 funding for the project thanks to a winning application made to United Way/ Centraide Canada — one of three funders selected by the federal government to disburse its Community Services Recovery Fund. The Phelps Helps proposal received the maximum eligible amount within the category it was submitted.

“We are deeply grateful to Centraide and the Government of Canada’s Community Services Recovery Fund for awarding Phelps Helps this vital support. Thanks to this financial commitment, we look forward to piloting the Phelps Helps Youth Club — a tailored program that will provide invaluable social experiences to local youth. I also thank the Phelps Helps staff and volunteers who worked hard to develop the innovative ideas behind our Phelps Helps Youth Club and craft a strong proposal,” says Katie Lowry, Phelps Helps Executive Director.

The Community Services Recovery Fund is a $400 million investment from the Government of Canada to support community service organizations, including charities, non-profits and Indigenous governing bodies, as they adapt and modernize their organizations.

“With the support of the federal government and the continuous engagement with our local community, we are laying the foundation for a brighter future for our youth, equipping them with the skills, knowledge and support they need to succeed," says Lowry.

Creating a gateway

Our Phelps Helps Youth Centre Pilot Project offers an effective gateway to other Phelps Helps services. It will build greater attachment to our organization among youth, ultimately increasing attendance in our most vital service: the High School Tutoring Program. This program has proven its effectiveness: 100 percent of students who attend the program two to three days per week stay in school and graduate.

The pandemic has left a mark on our community’s at-risk youth. The months at home have stunted past momentum and deprived teens of socialization. Our Pilot Project will reengage students before it is too late. Participating in the Phelps Helps Youth Club offers more than just activities; it provides students with a comprehensive support system that empowers them academically, socially, and personally.

Participating in the Youth Club will offer students a chance to unwind, connect with peers through shared interests, and discover new dimensions of their personalities beyond academics. It complements the academic programs by fostering a balanced and well-rounded growth experience, and will serve as an entry point for engaging in the Phelps Academic Programming.

What will participants gain?

Participating in the described Youth Centre pilot project offers numerous benefits to the teens in the community, especially those facing challenges. Here are some of the key benefits:

Social Interaction and Connection:

  • The Youth Centre provides a safe and welcoming space for teens to interact and connect with peers outside of school.

  • It fosters a sense of belonging and community, helping to reduce feelings of isolation that some teens may experience.

Mental Health and Well-being:

  • Engaging in social activities and spending time in a supportive environment can help alleviate feelings of depression and anxiety.

  • The opportunity to socialize and share experiences with others can contribute to improved overall mental well-being.

Personal Growth and Self-Discovery:

  • Teens can explore new activities, interests, and talents that they may not have had the chance to discover before.

  • Participating in diverse activities encourages self-expression and allows them to learn more about themselves which can boost self-esteem and open doors to future opportunities.

Leadership and Teamwork Skills:

  • Group activities and collaborative projects at the Youth Centre promote teamwork and leadership skills.

Positive Behaviour and Social Skills:

  • The structured environment of the Youth Centre encourages positive behaviour and respectful interactions.

  • Teens have the opportunity to practice social skills, conflict resolution, and effective communication.

Academic Improvement:

  • Improved mental health and social well-being can have a positive impact on teens' academic performance and engagement.

  • The sense of belonging and self-confidence gained from the Youth Centre can lead to increased motivation in school.

Coping Mechanisms:

  • Engaging in recreational and creative activities provides healthy outlets for managing stress and negative emotions.

  • Teens can develop effective coping mechanisms that contribute to their overall resilience.

Sense of Identity and Belonging:

  • The Youth Centre offers a space where teens can be themselves, express their individuality, and feel accepted.

  • A strong sense of identity and belonging contributes to higher self-esteem and self-worth.

Preparation for the Future:

  • The Youth Centre's emphasis on leadership, teamwork, and social skills prepares teens for future academic, personal, and professional endeavours.

  • Building these skills can enhance their prospects for success in various areas of life.


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