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.