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Group of young boys and girls in the kitchenVeronica gained comfort and confidence through Youth Awoken

As a young woman, Veronica was withdrawn, unsure of who she was, and where she was going. Joining Youth Awoken changed all that.

Operating after school, Youth Awoken engages 200 at-risk youth through inclusive activities developed by the Youth Council, peer leaders in Youth Awoken. Programs include cooking, basketball, and group discussions about issues that are important to young people. The opportunity to participate and be supported by peers helps youth who are struggling with substance use, dysfunctional family dynamics, sexual awareness and mental health.

“Everyone at Youth Awoken made it easier for me to open up and share what I was going through, that I was having trouble at home and dropped out of school because it was too tough. I also felt comfortable enough to share that I’m part of the LBGTQ+ community.”

The support Veronica had from peers and staff boosted her confidence dramatically. She returned to high school and is one of the leaders on our Youth Council. In the past year, she graduated from high school and applied to university. She even reconnected with her father and visited him in the United States.

“My mother is so grateful there was a place where I felt safe and secure to find myself and grow. I can be myself in Youth Awoken. It gave me the courage to not be ashamed of who I am.”