Reach for the Stars is an innovative after-school pilot program for junior-high aged youth from Birchwood Intermediate School. The program is a partnership between the Reach Foundation and the Boys & Girls Club of Charlottetown which provides life and employability guidance while helping participants build confidence, develop healthy connections and learn valuable skills to put them on the right path to success.
“The after-school hours are the most vulnerable part of a young person’s day states Teresa Hennebery, Executive Director of the REACH Foundation. By providing structured opportunities, safe spaces and healthy role models we hope to reduce risky behaviours and negative coping strategies, all while improving overall resiliency, self-confidence and healthy decision-making with our Island’s most susceptible youth.”
The Reach Foundation, established in 2013, supports the needs of youth with mental health and addiction challenges. Currently providing day programming for youth between 16 and 30, Reach stands for Recovery, Employment, Assistance, Courage and Hope. In addition to being a social enterprise, Reach provides training and resources for youth and their families and serves as a clubhouse and drop in centre. The Reach Foundation is the only organization of its type in the province with a mandate to “provide a healthy, safe, therapeutic learning and healing environment for youth with mental health and addiction challenges”. By providing a safe, stigma-free, caring and learning environment for youth and their families, the Reach Foundation assists Island youth to develop confidence and self-esteem while enhancing their employability and essential life skills as they transition from treatment to the workforce or back to school.
Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown is pleased to receive a $15,000 Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant to support the design, development and promotion of the Club’s new after-school intervention program, Reach for the Stars.
The project will target vulnerable youth ages 12-15 who are at risk of developing mental health and addiction challenges, engaging them in life-skills development, healthy peer socialization and confidence-building activities with positive adult mentors in a safe, stigma-free learning environment.
“Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown is excited to be able to offer an after-school program for at risk youth in our community,” said Amanda Beazley, Executive Director of Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown. “The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant helps us provide a safe, supportive and inclusive space for youth to develop the skills to make healthy choices, build healthy relationships, bolster their self-esteem and provide support for struggling families.”
“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to support Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown’s Reach for the Stars program to help at risk youth through life skills, peer support and mentorship,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “To date, the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund has supported over 650 organizations across Canada, like the Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown, that are building new partnerships in their communities to help youth living with mental illness and their families.”
Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 29
The Bell Let’s Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and significant funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives. On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these communicatoins at no extra cost to participants:
- Talk: Every mobile and every long distance call made by Bell wireless and phone customers
- Text: Every text message sent by Bell wireless customers
- Twitter: Every tweet and retweet using #BellLetsTalk, featuring the special Bell Let’s Talk emoji, and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at com/Bell_LetsTalk
- Facebook: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at com/BellLetsTalk and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk frame
- Instagram: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at com/bell_letstalk
- Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk filter and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view
- YouTube: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at http://youtube.com/bellcanada
Program funded in partnership with