2021 Review

 In Uncategorized

The year 2021, where do we begin? It is safe to say that this was a year unlike any other and although it has brought many challenges and uncertainties, it has been a year of growth and many successes for Summit Youth Centre. Our centre, staff, and youth have all faced adversity unlike ever before, and came out resilient, adaptable, and innovative.

The COVID19 pandemic presented us with many challenges we could have never predicted. A series of new grants were introduced throughout COVID and allowed us to access the necessary funds to keep our doors opened. These funds were used to ensure the safety of the youth through additional staffing, open hours, cleaning supplies, extensions of spaces and the purchase of a fogging machine. We developed an amazing outdoor space that allowed youth to have a safe outdoor space at our centre. We also introduced cohort-based nights in sync with School District 6. This ensured youth could only attend on their dedicated cohort night, which was the same as SD6. Although COVID brought new challenges we were able to address them head on to ensure a continuation of programming with the safety of youth as a continued priority.

Twice throughout the week during the school year, Open Doors students could attend the Youth Centre during their last block. Opening for these additional hours enabled these youth to attend the youth centre as they otherwise would not have been able to due to their bus schedule.

This year brought on the introduction of a new program for LGBTQ+ youth and allies. This was at the request of many youth in our community and the program has been a ongoing success. Every week we have between 10-20 youth who attend this group that allows access to support, positive role models, resources, and most importantly, a safe space.

A very exciting new opportunity arose this year as we tried to address transportation concerns for youth throughout the Columbia Valley. Rather than trying to bring the surrounding community’s youth to us, we spent the summer on the road bringing the youth centre to these communities. Every week we would spend 1 night in Edgewater, and 1 night in Canal Flats. This program was a huge success. Edgewater had 30-40 youth in attendance each evening and Canal Flats had 20-30 youth in attendance. We brought our mobile skatepark, a series of other games, music, a free BBQ and used this program to expand on our previous year’s Snack Box Initiative. This year, we brought Snack Pack’s to the weekly events in these communities for families to pick up. This program distributed 6741 snacks throughout summer to youth and their families.

From January thru September, we had 1658 youth visits over 130 open days. Our busiest month has been this September, showing that our numbers are growing. We also expanded from our drop-in centre and community events to having outreach in Invermere. Our Program Coordinator and staff attended the Invermere Skatepark regularly to connect with youth, provide snacks and act as positive mentors to these youth. This outreach was very important at times when COVID restrictions mandated us to close our doors.

Although 2021 brought us some uncertainties, one thing does remain certain. Our community and our youth centre alike have the capacity to serve, engage and connect with youth even in the face of extreme adversity.

Going forward the Summit Youth Hub is committed to Youth Mental Health Initiatives. This year we have various exciting new programming that supports Mental health and wellness. We have also developed a program for youth to learn to play the guitar. This program has all the necessary tools and instructions that youth need to learn this amazing instrument. Further, youth can sign guitars out from the youth centre to enable all youth access to this program. Music is an excellent creative and positive outlet and is often a sought-out instrument for youth to learn.

This year marks the beginning of yet another new program, the Creativity Collective. This project begins as a series of workshops that will introduce youth to a variety of creative outlets such as writing, fine arts, photography and more. From there, youth will be able to contribute their work to an entirely youth led magazine that will be distributed throughout the community. This program first aims to teach and inspire youth to learn a variety of creative outlets which could develop new passions, and then provide youth the opportunity to showcase their work.

The Summit Youth Hub is continuously adapting to stay relevant for youth and provide a variety of opportunities. Youth Mental Health remains at the forefront of our programming. I would like to thank everyone who has supported the Youth Hub over this past year, whether through funding, membership, sharing our posts, and general support. It is our work that we do together as a community for the youth that makes the world of a difference, and we could not do it without you. We are looking forward to many more years of inspiring and connecting with youth.

Thank you,

Alison Bortolon, Centre Manager

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment