By Erin Knutson
Special to The Pioneer
The Summit Youth Centre has a new kid on the block. Kelsey Prichard is the proud program co-ordinator and Summit leader at the Invermere facility. Part of Kelseys new role is to facilitate, co-ordinate, and guide valley youth aged 12 to 18.
The community-oriented, self-motivated organizer was drawn to the role after fostering a commitment to human service. Growing up in Invermere, the valley native graduated from David Thompson Secondary School in 2008 and knew she wanted to work with people.
Its something Im really passionate about, being part of a leadership program part of my role is to organize dances and holiday events, its a lot of fun and it doesnt feel like work, she said.
Kelsey completed the Human Service Work certificate from College of the Rockies, and is currently working on the Crisis Intervention Certificate also provided by the college.
It deals with suicide prevention, addiction services, crisis counselling, coping and management skills and reduction of bodily harm, she said.
Her goal is to eventually go into social work and the certificate is a prerequisite for entry into a larger university degree program.
I would eventually like to deal with youth addictions I did my practicum through the Family Resource Centre, so although I cant officially counsel the kids in my current role, I can refer them.
The inspired program co-ordinator hopes to facilitate effective communication skills in the youth she deals with on a daily basis.
My goal is to really develop relationships.
Kelsey is adamant about providing and co-ordinating a platform to open communication channels between parents and children.
Its about getting more youth involved I want to create a solid group that meets once a week and really look forward to working with the kids from DTSS.
After organizing the Crisco Skateboarding Memorial in 2002 that provided a scholarship to the winners, she was hooked.
I gave an award to a nine year-old girl from Sparwood, who emailed a thank you to me she was the only girl in the competition.
The experience touched Kelsey in a profound way and helped illuminate her future career path.
Its about getting people and its about creating community, she said.