We see the hope and potential in every young person

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Stories of Today’s Youth

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Today’s Teen Story is written by Mary Martin, former Volunteer Director and long-time volunteer and youth advocate.

When Sasha first came to the youth centre, she seemed to be hiding behind her hair with an iron mask over her emotions. Although she rarely engaged in conversation with anyone, she showed up. Over and over again, she showed up. And the volunteers showed up. Over and over again, the same staff and volunteers showed up. Consistently Sasha was treated with kindness and respect.

The unspoken message said, “We see you. You belong here. When you want to talk, we will listen.”

Gradually, Sasha began to join in the games and the conversations. Gradually, we learned who Sasha is. We learned that she loves mountains and puppies and rock music and she has a passion for softball. We discovered that she has a fantastic sense of humour, once she feels safe enough to express it.

As trust was built, Sasha shared some of the struggles she was having and some of the negative thoughts she harboured about herself. Through consistent, positive conversations, she is learning the truth about who she is created to be … a priceless masterpiece of the Creator.

Now Sasha is a regular at the youth centre, displaying a growing sense of confidence in knowing she is important to us and more significantly, important to God.

The story of Sasha reminds us of the value of patience and consistency. God is a patient teacher and promises His loving presence is always with us. These are messages we hope to mirror to the youth of Milton, including:

“We see you! You belong here! When you want to talk, we will listen!”

 

Sincerely,
Michael Burns
Director, RE:SOUL Youth Centre / YFC Milton

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