LEES-The Gateway to our Youth's Future
Provide the LEES program to community "youth at risk" that are unable to launch into their future, due to a lack of programs, esteem, support and information.
About Your Organization
Spark Youth Society
Country where this solution is creating social impact
Region in BC where your solution creates social impact
Is your organization a
Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization
How long has your organization been operating?
More than 5 years
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Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Established (past the previous stages and has demonstrated success)
How long have you been in operation?
Operating for 1‐5 years
Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your solution addresses? Choose up to two
The Need: Describe the need for your solution and the size and characteristics of the community(ies) your solution is engaging
In my 20 plus years working with youth ( Youth defined from 15 to 30 years of age) in Life Skills, Career and Employment Counselling. I have witnessed the community youth especially "Youth at Risk" struggle with the transtion from being a youth, in or out of school, to the adult working world. Every community has these issues however the rural youth have more difficulties moving forward,they don't have the same opportunities. All communities big or small and all youth could use this program and educational solution. My hands on experience has shown me this project works as it gives youth the missing link to jump into their future with both feet. It gives our youth confidence and every community needs and wants confident youth with direction and trust in themselves and their choices.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
My solution is provide information on all the barriers that holds youth back from their future; breaking down common fears, while buidling up their self esteem and confidence. Creating a fun environment that everyone participates in but has guidelines and enforces a respectful theme between everyone. I have deveoped this program for years and have ran the program with youth for two years with federal funds, it works!! The program materail is all developed and is ready to go. I have included all my 20 years of knowledge in this field; it includes helping others, giving back , volunteering, learning about your community, seeing you through employers eyes,understanding demographics and how you fit in to the big picture, finanical literacy, Being the Best YOU for a healthy life and many more. The youth need to be paid to start attending, at first they are just there for the money however as time goes on they change in front of your eyes..all they needed was some support and information.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include the primary activities involved in your solution.
The LEES solution is daily classes for a mth minimum, 9-3, with accountablity no misses, no lates. This prepares the youth for the real world and gets them up, giving them structure to their day. They write jounals, communicating , drawing their LIFE TREES creating visions of their future life growth , they do a community project building dog houses and cat stands for the SPCA. The youth didn't want to do this project; we delievered them painted in bright funky colors with creative designs, the youth beamed with pride, the SPCA staff were impressed as were the dogs, cats & staff. LEES also assists the youth to speak clearly about who they are, their feelings and needs. They wrote what the program has done for them, their sincere quotes:`The program was great, this will help me keep out of jail, I can read way better and I`ve learned to think before I act, It was awesome, I haven`t cut myself since I started in the program, I am more confident , I using the win/win conflict resolution, my relationship with my family is better, I know more about myself, I understand other people`s point of view better, I quit drinking, the quest speakers were great, I know more of what`s in a community, I understand better what employers want and repeatly I learned a lot.``
BR Client 25 yrs of age
I'm not going to lie, honesty is my best trait. I noticed the money opportunity first, that was my intention ... until the program showed me its light - now I'm in it not just for the money but the opportunity to achieve greatness! I have faith in myself now!" (N.R.G., age 19)
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others working to address the same needs as you and indicate what sets you apart from them.
Our peers and market place competition is rare in Kimberley, we lost our employment centre and LEES youth employment program. Our educational system doesn't cover this, our youth have multi barriers. LEES program works at the Youth Centre because they are not initmitated to attend and walk in off the street. When the employment centre was open, youth never felt comfortable attending; the youth centre is theirs and their comfortable zone. Staff are experienced and educated working with multi barrier youth. Mental Health have the employment contracts in the Kootenays; there is no office in Kimberley for youth at risk. The Aboriginal YOuth program provides support but not the full educational life component that the youth need. LEES an investment into our youth, community and future.
This Entry is about (Issues)
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world.
After seeing LEES outcomes with our youth, then refining the LEES solution after two years we were reading quotes like this from the soul of our youth...``After years of alcohol and drugs abuse towards myself, the Spark Youth Centre and the program helped me overcome my fear of myself. If I had never been given the assistance I had acquired, I would have never been able to build the confidence in myself, to achieve the goals I had set to be a better me, future and the people within it, I wouldn`t be happy with what I am today!``
LEES Client- 19 years of age``.
Quotes were worded different but the same message was heard over and over, it works,no matter where you live in the world or what barrier they face. The teaching materail has been gathered and organized for all to use. Two years since our last LEES program, on Friday I met with a LEES Grad, he told me he was ready ..we bought him clothes, met with an employer and he starts work on Saturday!!! The LEES Aha ripple!
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve
LEES provides the bridge to adulthood and independance, with support, information and confidence without this self esteem fades. Drugs, alcohol and abandonment issues can create feelings of worthlessness. LEES gives the youth an understanding of how demographics work, that it isn't them ..it is also the world the ecominc the numbers. LEES explains that they aren't stupid maybe they have a learning disablity , maybe they have ADHD..so they have to work harder, try harder...maybe they can't go thorugh the front door but to teach them there are wiondows and to keep trying, to work harder. LEES provides them with information in many areas such as financail literacy so if they don't have a bank account or owe money so they stop moving ahead to help them solve that problem and move forward..
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Youth finding employment, setting boundaires in relationships both working and personal, knowing their rights, youth going back to school, opening bank accounts, learning to drive, relocating for employment. Creating a self esteem that starts to beleive and trust in themselves, that they can do it.
SO the community has youth that are employed and not on the social system or in trouble with the law. An informed youth that understands what community values are and what resources are there to assist them in daily life. The economy has citizens who are contributing finanically etc.
LEES values and seeds of life learning have been planted with healthy material that has enabled them for life to make healthier choice for a healthier life which affects all of us for the long term. These are the youth that fall into the cracks of society. LEES solution alters this from contiuing, breaking the cycle, their adult life that is waitin, they can clearly see it now...their independence.
What is your projected impact over the next five years?
Our youth that have gone through this program will start having children and I feel these children will have a better chance at life as their parents were given some guidlines that empowered them to be all that they can be. Not saying that there maybe be problems but think about where they would be without this infomation. These life education seeds are planted for ever, branching out to the new life through values and knowledge.
If we could even do one or two lEES classes per year at 12 youth per group that is 24 youth a year x 5 = 120 youth in Kimberley alone x's that by every community in the East & West Kootenay..we can affect communities and econcomies, and futures in a healthy positive direction. Now think about if we don't...I see youth struggling to find their ways and we lose.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Since this program has ran two times at 3 mths each time our barriers have been worked out One barrier was having enough material compiled and organized in order to facilitate a day class for three mths,done!!This material will be added to and groomed continually.
The other was keeping the youth in the workshop for three mths while adding structure to their lives, this was achieved through paying them to attend and to be on time, as their employment( they were deducted pay as if it was a job). Youth were only allowed to miss 3 times with good reason or doctors note.
LEES only stopped due to funding, so I would say this is our biggest barrier, with funds we can assist each youth in group workshops. Workshops could include Cranbrook, if Kimberley area wasn't enough.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
To acheive strong numbers in sucess; having 10 out of 12 youth ready for employment or registered to complete their education.
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Keeping communication with of all youth, to identify their progress through emails, texting and facebook.
On going support for all youth in their achieving their goals; education, employment , business or personal issues.
To remove as many barriers our youth face in achieving their goals successfully, barriers will be different for each .
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
We will have all youth in new group employed or returned to school etc and we will be working on a new group, sharing the model.
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Keeping contact with Youth (can be transient) to modivate, encourage, assist, support and remove barriers.
Network with communities to share information and model for all youth and communites to benefit and grow.
Keeping the program fresh, fun and interesting. Upgrading the material and creating a user friendly workshop binder
Tell us about your partnerships
We have many long term community partnerships; they include the City of Kimberley, Community Gardens, Mental Health, BC Literacy, Restorative Justice, Schools, East Kootenay Addictions, Family Centre, Food Bank, International Student program, Ktunaxa First Nations, Kimberley College, Kootenay Brain Injury Assoication, Kimberley Community Fair, MS Society, Kimberley RCMP, local businesses and Alterative learning. We offer our building space and invite guest speakers to our programs and partner will the educational system etc to provide LEES students with credits to achieving their grade 12.
Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your solution? If so, where and why?
Currently we ar not targeting other populations but this program can be modified to fit any age group , any region and any barriers. Expereinced in workshops with Aborignal, disabled, visually impaired women, and multi cultural participants, and material are adjustable to fit all groups. It will be designed to be user friendly and marketable and packaged to ship or eamil to all areas.
What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?
We have 1800 sq feet of youth centre with a beautiful commerical kitchen, updated computers, community LEES bookstore which we use for a youth training area, stage with band equipment and a workshop room for programs. We are CENTRALLY LOCATED!!!DOWNTOWN Location which is great for youth with transportation issues. The community notices activity with our youth; centre is located at a major intersection. Our organization is resilent, flexible and supportive. Our two main staff memebers; Manager and Assistant Manager are long lasting employees that beleive in what they do. Together the staff have over 10 years at the organization and 30 years in the field.
The city has contributed finanically and socially for many, many years. The community helped us purchase the building 15 years ago.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list
We are always growing and learning and we never want to think we knwo it all so we are always looking for new information, marketing what we have and networking in the Kootenays, Province and Country. We have staff wearing many hats it would be nice to have more time to stretch these areas to the fullest.
We have in the past and will offer other youthh centres ideas and workable resouces.
|36 weeks ago Bev Middlebrook updated this Competition Entry.|
|36 weeks ago Bev Middlebrook updated this Competition Entry.|
|37 weeks ago Bev Middlebrook updated this Competition Entry.|
|37 weeks ago Bev Middlebrook updated this Competition Entry.|
|43 weeks ago April Dutheil said: Hi Bev- Thank you for beginning the entry submission process. Looking forward to learning more about your initiative. -April about this Competition Entry. - read more >|
|48 weeks ago Bev Middlebrook updated this Competition Entry.|
|49 weeks ago Bev Middlebrook updated this Competition Entry.|
|49 weeks ago Bev Middlebrook submitted this idea.|