By Chadd Cawson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Summer may be half over, but the Youth Hub still has a full line-up of summer programs happening five days a week.
LGBTQ+ & Allies has their drop-in group on Monday nights from 5-10pm. “We have had a series of guest speakers come and speak to the youth on these nights, said Executive Director, Alison Bortolon.
While regular drop in happens at the Hub Tuesday to Fridays from 2 to 10 P.M. Tuesdays just got extra special for the summer as in partnership with Columbia Valley Youth Network Kayaking nights will be taking place with Columbia River Paddle. The Mobile Youth Hub is a way for the youth to reach out to other youth in the outlying communities of the Columbia Valley.
“We offer free food to take home, a BBQ, outdoor games such as yard games and a mobile skatepark, art activities, access to resources and positive role models to interact with. It came to be directly from a need identified by youth. in different locations,” said Bortolon. “We originally were trying to look at ways to bring the Youth to the Hub, but we realized transportation was a wider community issue. As we could not transport youth to us, we decided we could bring our Hub, our activities, and our resources to them! With that in a sense we were able to tackle a bit of transportation, access to recreation, which ultimately plays into promoting mental health and wellness.”
Wednesdays the Mobile Youth Hub goes to Edgewater from 5-9pm. “We have our mobile skatepark, outdoor games, along with a barbeque with free food, music, and more,” said Bortolon. On Thursdays the hub gets mobile again and is Canal Flats from 5-9pm while on Fridays they stay a littler close to home and are set up at the Invermere Skatepark from 3-8pm. Plenty of fun to be had before school is back in session.
“I hope the youth are able to learn new skills, try new things, develop new hobbies and passions, says Bortolon, “I want them to know that there are resources and opportunities for them, and that the Youth Hub and staff are always a safe place for youth, where we encourage positive growth.”