The Truth About Youth

We are delighted to share a successful initiative that highlights ‘The Truth About Youth’. Congratulations to all involved; in particular, the young people – leaders today, tomorrow and the future – for their passion and action!

Background to the Project:

  • Helen Edwards of the Seniors Centre for Excellence and Gabby Ieropoli, Community Youth Resiliency Worker met to discuss ways of connecting youth and seniors in the community (northern Wellington County).
  • The program name “The Truth About Youth” came from a program participant who explained that “teenagers and alternative education students especially have a reputation of being bad people and the truth is we are good people capable of doing good things in our community.”
  • Project goal: To connect youth with their local community through projects that respond to community identified needs. By being involved in these projects, youth will develop new skills, meet new people, and gain valuable experiences all the while giving back to their community.
  • Dave Griffiths of Wellington Heights and Jesse Lloyd of Youth Options both expressed an interest in involving their students in community projects; the four of us met and begin reaching out to different partners to see about projects
  • Students go out as a class with their teacher to work on projects. There are approx. 5-10 students
  • The students involved are those who, for various reasons, struggle with the mainstream school system and may face issues such as addiction, mental health difficulties, troublesome home life, etc. As such, this program is intended to help them see past these challenges and the value that they themselves have and can bring to the community J
  • The uptake was a little slow at the beginning, but once word started to spread, it was tricky to keep up with all of the requests!
  • Dave Griffiths, Alternative Education Teacher at Wellington Heights: “I saw an improvement in attendance and the students experiencing their ability to make a difference in someone else’s life. The students took ownership of the projects they were involved in.”
  • One student shared when asked about his improving attendance “this project (ramp) is real and it is improving the life of someone else


Projects Completed to Date:

  • Built an accessible ramp for a local resident who has been house-bound due to health/mobility issues
  • Built raised flower beds
  • Painted local playgrounds
  • Completed yard work for local churches
  • Handed out posters for upcoming community events
  • Raked leaves for seniors and those with limited mobility
  • Shovelled snow away from fire hydrants
  • Walked a dog for a local couple with mobility issues
  • And much more!

Our “ask”:

  • We are looking for meaningful projects for these students to be involved with this year. Do you have a project or initiative that you need help with? And that could provide these students with a unique opportunity to develop new skills?
  • Their teacher is a licensed carpenter and so they can work on projects that require this expertise
  • We ask that those requesting support, either provide materials/supplies or help offset the cost.
  • They have a bus and so transportation is not an issue


We look forward to September and kicking off this amazing program again. For more information contact:

Gabby Ieropoli

Community Youth Resiliency Worker

[email protected]

1-800-265-7293 ext 7603

Posted on August 2, 2017