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Local teenagers attending national youth centres conference


TRURO – Crystal Crossan-Zak can’t wait to see how a national youth conference will impact the lives of local youth.

Crossan-Zak, director of Slate Youth Centre in Truro, will attend YouthXChange 2015 with at least three Colchester County teenagers from March 27 to 30 in Ottawa.

“We want youth-led initiatives and there’s a freedom you begin to see with the youth,” thanks the conference, which is hosted by Youth Centres Canada, said Crossan-Zak.

One example, during a past conference, was a shy youth wouldn’t talk at first, but ultimately opened up and initiated ideas during workshops.

“And youth become more aware of what’s happening in the world. They think about other people and you see more confidence in them,” said Crossan-Zak.

That translates to more involvement in local youth centres, such as Slate, when youth return home.

“It strengthens young people, making sure youth have a bigger voice here and we can give them more responsibility.”

The conference will feature workshop topics and research youth are interested in, such as diversity, mental health, social media and addictions, to name a few. Adults participate in their own professional development workshops and are support, when needed, for the youth.

For 16-year-old Emma Cormier, of Bible Hill, the conference has had a big impact on her.

“I learned last year how to get more youth to come to (Slate) … things like the presentation (of the centre) outside and advertising. A lot of people don’t know the young centre is here so I’ve talked to more people in the community and at school about it,” said Cormier.

Salmon River’s Regan Kennedy, 16, will attend the conference for the first time.

“It sounds really exciting,” Kennedy said, adding she’s interested in going to workshops to discuss mental illness.

“I like learning about that stuff … it’s important because a lot of people judge and you have to learn not to do that.”

The cost of the trip for each participant is estimated to be $1,300.

Because Slate is a non-profit organization, they must cover their own costs and will rely on fundraising to help.

So far about $600 has been raised and more fundraisers are being co-ordinated. Every Saturday in February a pancake breakfast will be held between 8 and 10:30 a.m. at Slate (883 Prince St.). The cost is $6 for a large portion and $4 for a smaller meal.

Also, on Feb. 28, from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at the Truro fire hall, a multi-vendor “spring shopping” extravaganza will be held. Admission will be $1. All table rentals and admission fees will go to Slate.

Vendor tables are still available by calling 893-3991.

That number can also be phoned for more information about Slate, and to register for the conference. The deadline is Feb. 9.

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Twitter: tdnMonique

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What: Slate Youth Centre

Opened in Truro: March 2007

Where: 883 Prince Street

For ages: 10 to 18

Number of youth making use of the centre: Up to 20 on a regular basis; there have been upwards of 45 youth at times

Events at Slate: Socials, cooking, playing videos, crafts, open mike nights, fundraising and more.

Hours of operation: Monday 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.; Thursday 3:30 to 8 p.m.; Friday 3:30 to 6 p.m. (for ages 10 to 13 upon registration) and 6:30 to 9 p.m. for ages 14 to 18.

 

 

 

Crossan-Zak, director of Slate Youth Centre in Truro, will attend YouthXChange 2015 with at least three Colchester County teenagers from March 27 to 30 in Ottawa.

“We want youth-led initiatives and there’s a freedom you begin to see with the youth,” thanks the conference, which is hosted by Youth Centres Canada, said Crossan-Zak.

One example, during a past conference, was a shy youth wouldn’t talk at first, but ultimately opened up and initiated ideas during workshops.

“And youth become more aware of what’s happening in the world. They think about other people and you see more confidence in them,” said Crossan-Zak.

That translates to more involvement in local youth centres, such as Slate, when youth return home.

“It strengthens young people, making sure youth have a bigger voice here and we can give them more responsibility.”

The conference will feature workshop topics and research youth are interested in, such as diversity, mental health, social media and addictions, to name a few. Adults participate in their own professional development workshops and are support, when needed, for the youth.

For 16-year-old Emma Cormier, of Bible Hill, the conference has had a big impact on her.

“I learned last year how to get more youth to come to (Slate) … things like the presentation (of the centre) outside and advertising. A lot of people don’t know the young centre is here so I’ve talked to more people in the community and at school about it,” said Cormier.

Salmon River’s Regan Kennedy, 16, will attend the conference for the first time.

“It sounds really exciting,” Kennedy said, adding she’s interested in going to workshops to discuss mental illness.

“I like learning about that stuff … it’s important because a lot of people judge and you have to learn not to do that.”

The cost of the trip for each participant is estimated to be $1,300.

Because Slate is a non-profit organization, they must cover their own costs and will rely on fundraising to help.

So far about $600 has been raised and more fundraisers are being co-ordinated. Every Saturday in February a pancake breakfast will be held between 8 and 10:30 a.m. at Slate (883 Prince St.). The cost is $6 for a large portion and $4 for a smaller meal.

Also, on Feb. 28, from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at the Truro fire hall, a multi-vendor “spring shopping” extravaganza will be held. Admission will be $1. All table rentals and admission fees will go to Slate.

Vendor tables are still available by calling 893-3991.

That number can also be phoned for more information about Slate, and to register for the conference. The deadline is Feb. 9.

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Twitter: tdnMonique

 -----------

What: Slate Youth Centre

Opened in Truro: March 2007

Where: 883 Prince Street

For ages: 10 to 18

Number of youth making use of the centre: Up to 20 on a regular basis; there have been upwards of 45 youth at times

Events at Slate: Socials, cooking, playing videos, crafts, open mike nights, fundraising and more.

Hours of operation: Monday 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.; Thursday 3:30 to 8 p.m.; Friday 3:30 to 6 p.m. (for ages 10 to 13 upon registration) and 6:30 to 9 p.m. for ages 14 to 18.

 

 

 

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