Word's out on 'awesomest' place

Christine Wood/Staff Writer / Staff writer
January 24, 2014 01:00 AM

Sechelt Youth Centre (SYC) youth worker Suzanna Lodewijk (centre back) hangs out on the couch with students Jake Joe, Hailee Craigan, Bailey McBoyle, Dustin Nichterwitz and Izzy Stevens during the SYC open house held on Jan. 15.

Many still don't know that Sechelt has a youth centre for teens and tweens - that's adult supervised and student-led - so staff members are trying to get the word out.

Youth centre staff hosted an open house on Jan. 15 that saw more than 40 people come tour the facility on Cowrie Street. The space boasts pool and foosball tables, a big screen TV, comfy couches, computer access, craft supplies, board games and a full kitchen that students are encouraged to cook in with staff.

"When I'm out in the community buying groceries I say they're for SYC (Sechelt Youth Centre) and people say, 'Oh, we have one? Where is it?' I think we're still largely unknown," said Charlene Blais, SYC youth worker. "That's why we wanted to have the open house."

The SYC is set up in a detached building at the Sechelt Learning Centre (formerly Sechelt Elementary School) at 5538 Shorncliffe Ave. The entrance is off Cowrie Street and students who visit are able to use the learning centre's large gym as well as the youth centre space.

Teens ages 13 to 18 are welcomed to the SYC on Fridays from 3 to 9 p.m. while tweens, students in grades 5 to 7, can stop by on Mondays and Thursdays from 2:30 to 5 p.m.

Students get to help plan activities and are encouraged to "relax, be themselves, socialize and participate," in all the SYC has to offer - free of charge.

Young SYC visitors who were at the open house couldn't contain their enthusiasm about the centre.

"It's the awesomest thing ever because you get to do crafts and meet people who go to different schools and the people are really nice," said 11-year-old Izzy Stevens.

Jake Joe, also 11, said he enjoyed making food with SYC staff members after school, noting the centre is "a lot of fun."

"It's a great place to go after school to do things and hang out with friends," said Bailey McBoyle, 12.At least two staff members are always on hand at the SYC, which is funded through the Sechelt community school.

"I hope that more kids will come and open up and offer their feedback because we want kids to want to be here," Blais noted. "We want to work with kids to ensure our programming is relevant."

Find out more about the SYC on Facebook or by calling 604-885-2720. The SYC can also be reached by email at Secheltyouth@eastlink.ca.


© Coast Reporter

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