A Reason to Celebrate

Tania is the Director of Operations for Central Alberta Youth Unlimited, based in Lacombe AB

 A Reason to Celebrate

Working in the office gives me a unique perspective on Central Alberta Youth Unlimited.  I see the numbers and details, but I don’t often experience the real life stories of youth being changed by God’s love.  We recently started up our YU-Turn Housing program; a skill development program that offers a family style, supported independence home for young people who could benefit from assistance in becoming healthy, independent, contributing members of their community.   In this home, program participants commit to a rhythm of intentional growth and development with the support of program staff, volunteers, and other community organizations.

Melissa, the youth engagement worker for our YU-Turn house, recently shared with me about a little victory related to Shane*, one of the housing program participants.

Week 1 – Everything went great!
Week 2 – Boundaries were tested.
Week 3 – More of the “whole” truth in his story was uncovered that was not previously shared.
Week 4 – Shane* went AWOL for three days.

In his transition back into the house, facing some practical consequences and being challenged on his patterns of behaviour, Shane* had an “Aha” moment.  He was invited to go out with friends, which very possibly would have ended poorly.  He weighed the consequences of missing school again, which could mean losing his funding and possibly his place in the YU-Turn house, and he chose to stay home instead.  The next day Shane* called Melissa to tell her that he did something that he was proud of… not something that she would be proud of, but something that HE was proud of.  With the love and guidance of our staff team, *Shane is being given more opportunities to make good choices.  We are here to celebrate the little victories with the young men in our YU-Turn house, and to guide them in their growth and independence.  Staying home that night was a reason to celebrate, and it’s a gift for me to be able to support the people involved in those kind of celebrations!

Tania Rapske
Director of Operations
Youth Unlimited, Lacombe

*name changed for privacy

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