Mya used to find it difficult to speak up when she was in a group. A little bit shy and lacking in confidence, Mya would usually let others speak first.
Mya, 17, isn’t afraid to take on leadership roles and community projects – thanks to the encouragement she’s received along the way.
Your support of our Neighbourhoods work has provided Mya with opportunities to blossom through programs at Courtland Shelley Community Centre.
Right from when she moved to the area in Grade 7, the community centre became a big part of Mya’s life – whether it was attending day camp in the summer, or after-school activities in the fall.
Mya was a regular at the centre’s Youth Drop-In program where she connected with fellow teens and was mentored by staff.
“It was for kids my age – we’d get to go there, and get a break from our own houses and looking after our brothers and sisters; it was a space we were comfortable hanging out, and able to talk to one another.”
Through the Youth Leadership program, Mya developed educational goals for a future career, and prepared to serve as one of the youth leaders for last year’s STEAM March Break camp. Unfortunately, that camp didn’t take place because of COVID restrictions, but the leadership program helped her in other ways.
Mya’s newfound confidence helped when she and other youth members decided to apply for a Neighbourhood Action Grant through the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation to make improvements to this community centre’s youth drop-in space.
Mya had to fill out the application and present the group’s ideas, as well as implement the project when funding was granted. The drop-in space now boasts new furniture, games and equipment for everyone to enjoy. Mya has just been hired to work for House of Friendship at Courtland Shelley as a program helper, providing the same kind of support that she once received.
“When I go to college, I’m going to take social services, so I can do this type of work. That’s why this program is so great – it’s helping my future.”
Your support of Neighbourhoods programs is making a difference for young women like Mya! Thank you!
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