Youth-At-Risk (It's Tough to be a Teen)
Soumise par :
Firefighter Martin Sunderland Police Officer John Davidson
Abbotsford Fire and Police Services
32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford, British Columbia
Idée créée le:
le 26 septembre, 2011
Moyen budget (50 000 $ à 100 000 $)
**YOUTH-AT-RISK (It's Tough to be Teen)**
**If one decision could save a life would you make it?**
Today’s youth are constantly being bombarded by media images that portray and often glamorize risky behaviour such as the misuse of fire, dangerous driving or the temptation of drugs and alcohol. The impact of these negative messages affects entire communities when young people make bad decisions and tragic consequences result.
For the past 2 years, Abbotsford Police and Fire Rescue Services have teamed up to provide hard-hitting and emotional presentations aimed at middle and high school students and new drivers. This program, titled **Youth-At-Risk**, brings together the concepts of actions and consequences for risky behavior which develops in the early teens; behavior that left unchecked can wreak havoc as our youth move into adulthood.
Motivation for and creation of the program comes in the form of two veteran emergency professionals; Firefighter Martin Sunderland (10-year veteran) and Police Officer John Davidson (18-year veteran) committed to a goal of making Abbotsford the safest city in British Columbia.
**_“Having to inform one family of the loss of a child is one family too many”._**
The program is effective because it doesn’t sugarcoat the consequences of bad decisions **and much of the message is delivered by the youth themselves**.
Impact statements come from a young victim who has suffered tremendous, heartbreaking loss; someone who has lived through the aftermath of a traffic fatality and chosen to share her experience with the audiences. Picture a father collapsing to the floor on his knees upon hearing the news about the tragic end to his daughter’s promising life. While that life cannot be restored, the loss has become the foundation of a message that will save others.
Live presentations from both perpetrators and victims are supplemented by a series of multi-media presentations designed to help teens link actions with consequences and to provide them with effective tools for applying what they learn.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. The **Aviva** community competition is our opportunity to come together to raise awareness and protect our young people.
Should our **Youth-At-Risk** program be judged to be worthy of **Aviva** financial support, the $97,000 we are requesting would help Martin and John:
- Create a website presence for the program as an ongoing resource for teens; that is accessible by other fire departments, teachers and youth organizations and agencies (i.e. cadets, scouts, etc); that gives parents the necessary tools and empowers them to be great role molels;
- Share the program with communities across Canada and beyond;
- Develop a social media presence and campaign (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, My Space, etc);
- Convert existing Power Point and streaming video to a website friendly format;
- Develop additional components to address things like substance abuse and sex trafficking;
- Create brand recognition; media, marketing, communications and print material (brochures);
- Develop e-commerce to provide a source of ongoing funding (i.e. donations);
- Assist as leverage to secure and obtain other grant funding;
- Give the program the up-front support that it needs to be self-sustaining and self-funding.
**Aviva’s** support will help take the program to the next level. Other Canadian agencies have already been asking for a copy of the program after hearing about the success in Abbotsford by simple word of mouth. At present, the program is too large to email which makes it a cumbersome process to share. A website presence is a way of spreading the good word and work.
One of the challenges faced by emergency providers is that it is difficult to tally up all of the lives that have been saved as a result of their efforts. They soldier on, motivated by faith, and do as much as humanly possible to feel confident that lives are being saved. To hear a young person say,
_“I convinced my friend, who had been drinking, to leave his car and walk home with me.”_
_“After meeting the family whose business I burned, I can only say how thankful I am that no one was hurt and that I now understand how the consequences of a bad decision made by me can impact so many others forever!”_
Once a young person understands and acknowledges responsibility for the consequences of his/her actions he/she can become a resource for the program. This will give the program life and longevity and will continue to offer the youth a chance and an opportunity to express regret and spread the word to peers.
**CALL TO ACTION:** Vote for Abbotsford’s **YOUTH-AT-RISK ‘Its Tough to be a Teen’** program at the **Aviva Community Fund** website…**www.Avivacomunityfund.com**.
**WE NEED YOU! WE EXTEND AN INVITATION FOR YOU TO BECOME PART OF OUR VILLAGE! AFTER ALL, YOUTH ARE YOURS, MINE AND OURS AND THEY KNOW NO BORDERS.**