UNFC youth council has full month in store

With the school year ending soon, the United Native Friendship Centre youth council here is working to make sure teens don’t get bored during their summer break.
“We’re basically out to change the community’s perception of the youth. We’re not all bad,” Sally Lee, president of the youth council, said yesterday.
“And we can do that by giving the kids a place to go and things to do,” she added.
“We find when kids come here, they stay out of trouble,” noted youth worker Raylene Johnson.
The centre offers youth the chance to play pool and video games, and watch movies there, as well as go on trips to Plaza Lanes and the Memorial Sports Centre.
In the coming weeks, it also will host an aboriginal teachings session (June 18), a fundraiser barbecue June 20 at Pither’s Point Park (from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.), a bullying workshop June 24 (from 2-4 p.m.), and a relationships workshop June 25 (2-4 p.m.)
“Bullying seems to be an everyday occurrence so it’s something that should be talked about,” said Johnson.
“And the appropriate relationship workshop is good. A lot of kids are dating people older than them and that’s something we want to address,” she added.
A youth action also is planned June 26, where UNFC staff members will bid on youths to get them to do their jobs for a day. And a dance is slated June 28 from 9 p.m.-midnight (the location is yet to be confirmed).
To round off the month, a babysitting course will be held June 29 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost is $5.
“We did a little research and found that some of these course cost up to $80. So this is a good deal,” said Johnson.
The centre held a successful car wash fundraiser for the OPP’s Drug Awareness and Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) on Saturday, raising $150 for the program.
Johnson noted the youth council is always open to ideas. “The kids are our leaders in a way,” she said. “What they want, we try to get together.”
But planning and carrying out activities takes time and effort, and that’s why the youth council is looking to expand.
“With a bigger council, we can do bigger and better things,” remarked treasurer Danielle Shine.
The youth centre (located at 616 Mowat Ave.) is open to youths aged 13-29 from noon-8 p.m. each weekday. If staff are out on a field trip, a notice regarding when the centre will be open again is posted on the door.

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