Working to Create a Safe, Sober, Space for Teens in Their Community

Teenagers need to belong and feel accepted, and they need to know that someone cares for them, or better yet, that the entire community cares for them.

The City of Surrey hosted the ‘Surrey Steps Up Awards’, on May 2, 2014, at the brand new Surrey City Hall, where Mayor Diane Watts honored Surrey teens who are making a positive difference in their community.

A group of teens at the awards from “The Youth Space Project”, is making a difference in the White Rock/South Surrey area.  The group set up a mini youth space in the lobby of Surrey City Hall, complete with cozy couches, fun games, and snacks, and invited people to come and hang out with them.

Youth collective building a space for youth at Surrey Steps Up 2014

Their dream is to create a badly needed ‘youth space’ in their own community, and they are reaching out to the larger community to make their dream a reality.  Tayla, one of the teens says: “there’s nothing for teens to do in our area”.  She is looking for sponsorship for a youth space, where teens can participate in fun activities together.  Grace is also working on the youth space project, but she looked more solemn, saying:  “a lot of our friends have died from drugs”.  “We need a safe, sober place to hangout, where we feel accepted and can express ourselves in a positive way” she says.

youth space project

Example of what a youth space would look like

The group is currently accepting donations to create an environment where teens can get together after school. Alexandra Neighborhood House, and the local RCMP, agree with the need for a youth space, and are encouraging the teens to ask individuals and businesses in the community to take the opportunity to invest in them, show they care, spread some goodwill in the community, and receive a tax deduction at the same time.

With so many new families moving into the area, the demographic trend is toward a younger population, and they need a safe place to work on their resumes for their job search, meet new friends, or explore volunteer opportunities in their community, that would aid in keeping youth off the streets and away from harm.

Their goal is to secure a space by this fall.  The ideal location for the youth space is the vicinity of 152nd St and 18th Ave.   If you can help them by providing a building (approx. 2500 square feet), that can be converted into a youth space, please contact Jessie Kergan – Youth and Family worker at Alexandra House.  jkergan@alexhouse.net.  Alexandra House will process all donations and issue a tax receipt to businesses or individuals who sponsor the project.

Top Photo: Surrey Youth

Bottom Photo: photo pin/creative commons.

Tom Jackson’s Love of Music and People

Canadians Changing The World:

Over the next few months, I will continue to take my blog out to meet people in my community who are taking action to change the world. Like a snail pulling myself off my rock, I am getting out and interacting with the people in the community to get to know them. I am also embarking on an on-line virtual road trip, to recognize Canadians who are finding ways to make our world a better place.

In December 1973, I rode the CP Rail train from Vancouver to Montreal. On the 5,000 kilometre, four day train ride, I had a front row seat to the landscape of my homeland, and along the journey, I enjoyed the dense snow covered forest of The Rocky mountains in Banff and Jasper, and the tall, wind whistled trees that partitioned the forever golden prairies in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, and stopovers in many of the nation’s capital cities, before I reached my destination of Montreal.

Canadian Train Trip

Experience the temperature, the landscape and the people of Canada

Like a train ride, life is about embracing the journey, wherever the train takes you, and appreciating and engaging with the people you meet or learn about along the way..

Tom Jackson

This week’s extraordinary Canadian is Tom Jackson, recording artist, actor, and humanitarian. Tom combines his artistic skills, his first-hand knowledge of homelessness and drug addiction, with community leadership in his Aboriginal community to inspire others to overcome obstacles and turn their lives around as he has done.

Since 1987, Tom has used his musical talent to raise millions of dollars for food banks with his “Sing For Your Supper Program”, becoming a role model for Canadians who live in poverty. He continues to entertain and perform his music across the country to benefit community organizations, and this month he is the featured artist at The Badlands Tourism Expo in Alberta with keynote speaker Brett Wilson, another extraordinary Canadian, on March 26, 2014.

Watch George Stroumboulopoulos, interviewing Tom Jackson on the video below.

I saw Strombo on stage interviewing Oprah when she came to Vancouver, doing a spontaneous Q & A on stage and impressing both the audience and Oprah herself with the quality of his questions. His latest gig is announcing Hockey Night in Canada when Rogers takes over the broadcast, where he will commit grand larceny of the announcer’s chair with his laser beam skills at connecting with Canadians and their favorite game, hockey. He has spent his career celebrating Canadians, and now he serendipitously brings us together with our game. #GOHABSGO

Tom is appearing at Badlands Tourism expo in Lethbridge Alberta with keynote speaker Brett Wilson,

The Conference is March 25 -27, 2014. You can register online at:

copy and paste this link: https://www.canadianbadlands.org/cbl/conference/

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/how-a-homeless-man-saved-tom-jackson-70262477.html