Engaging Kimberley’s youth

Columbia Basin Trust funds meant for projects that engage youth

Mayor Ron McRae speaks to youth at a Steering Committee meeting.

Mayor Ron McRae speaks to youth at a Steering Committee meeting.

With the granting of of Community Directed Youth Funds from the Columbia Basin Trust, one of the requirements was that there be a Youth Coordinator who would bring together a Youth Steering Committee. That Committee would then work to create and facilitate activities and recreational opportunities that would decrease boredom in youth ages 12 to 19.

That coordinator, or liaison, is now in place. He is Steve Hession and he has spent the last few weeks meeting with youth and with organizations around Kimberley that work with youth.

“The funding is driven by the youth, what they want to do,” Hession said. “My role is to help them get events going, form community connections.”

For instance, the next event on December 19 is a movie night for youth at Centre 64. The movie will be Nightmare Before Christmas. There are a couple of community connections worked into the evening. First, a local youth group, the Girl Guides, will be running the concession to raise funds for their organizations. And secondly, Hession has found a newer resident to Kimberley with experience in special effects makeup. The artist will do a mini-workshop to teach youth how to look like some of the characters in the movie.

There has already been one major event, a Tom Talk, with Dr. Tom Ristimaki, PhD, who spoke to an impressive number of youth at Centre 64 last month. Ristimaki spoke of “Choosing Your Own Adventure”.

The Youth Steering Meeting Committee has been meeting two Wednesdays a month at the BeanTree. There they discuss different activities and sift through ideas for upcoming youth-centred events.

“Anyone can apply for the funds, “Hession said. “But the funds must go to programmng that empowers youth. Youth must have a major voice in it.”

You can contact Hession at 1-250-464-5524.

The Steering Committee has also set up a FaceBook page. Imformation on upcoming meetings and events can be found there.