New director has big plans for Waterdown Youth Centre

News Jun 27, 2016 by Julia Lovett-Squires Flamborough Review

The Youth For Christ (YFC)/Youth Unlimited Waterdown Centre now has a new leader at the helm just in time for summer.

“It has been an exciting ride because May and June are some of the busiest months,” said Marilyn Meyers, satellite director for the Parkside Drive facility.

Meyers, who was hired at the beginning of May, said she feels as though this is a homecoming for her as she worked with the organization in her 20s and kept active in faith-based social work over the years.

The new director is passionate about her purpose in life and, after having children of her own and going through the teen years with them, feels she understands the particular needs they have.

“It’s a broken world right now that our kids are coping with. It’s a generation facing unique pressures that technology and media have placed on them,” she said.

Now that Meyers has taken over the role that has been vacant for over a year, she is ready to effect change in Waterdown’s youth.

The centre, which opened in 2014 and is part of the Southwestern Ontario YFC/YU (a chapter of YFC/YU Canada) was envisioned as a place where youth can develop holistically – emotionally, physically, socially, mentally and spiritually. According to the Waterdown centre’s website, it is dedicated to encouraging youth to make an informed decision to follow Jesus.

“My dream is that every young person who walks through the door will know that they are worth it. That they have incredible value, that they have unlimited potential and they are the future,” Meyers said.

According to the YFC/Youth Unlimited website, the organization has a long history of outreach. Dating back to the Second World War, young men, mainly ministers and evangelists, held rallies in North America and England.

During the mid-1950s the focus shifted from spreading the word of God at large events to solely focusing on teenagers. Since then, the organization has spread across Canada and the rest of the world.

In Waterdown, the newly-appointed director is looking forward to making some changes. Meyers, says she would like to add more volunteers and staff so they can reach more youth and increase the centre’s hours of operation.

Some new initiatives have already taken place: two new staff members have been hired to facilitate a junior high program.

“That’s so that they can build relationships with kids early so that when they get to high school, they already have friendships here,” said Meyers.

Through programing at the centre, she also hopes to tackle two specific needs that she feels needs to be addressed in the community: drug use at the high school level and mental health.

“It has me researching the possibilities for meeting that need,” she said of the possibility of starting a drug rehabilitation support group in the community.

“We also want to address some of the lack of life skills. The simple things like changing a tire, babysitting courses, managing money, so these are things that can help build their confidence,” she said.

As excited as she is about the direction the centre is heading, Meyers said there are a few misconceptions in the community about what they do.

“We know that some students think we’re only here for troubled kids, while others think we’re only about religion,” she said. “The truth is that the youth centre is a safe, fun place for every young person. It’s a place where they’ll be heard and understood, it’s a journey of discovery and transformation into adulthood.”

Currently, the centre is targeted to youth ages 13-19 and open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and from 3-5 p.m.

For more information, visit: www.yfcwaterdown.com.

New director has big plans for Waterdown Youth Centre

News Jun 27, 2016 by Julia Lovett-Squires Flamborough Review

The Youth For Christ (YFC)/Youth Unlimited Waterdown Centre now has a new leader at the helm just in time for summer.

“It has been an exciting ride because May and June are some of the busiest months,” said Marilyn Meyers, satellite director for the Parkside Drive facility.

Meyers, who was hired at the beginning of May, said she feels as though this is a homecoming for her as she worked with the organization in her 20s and kept active in faith-based social work over the years.

The new director is passionate about her purpose in life and, after having children of her own and going through the teen years with them, feels she understands the particular needs they have.

“It’s a broken world right now that our kids are coping with."

“It’s a broken world right now that our kids are coping with. It’s a generation facing unique pressures that technology and media have placed on them,” she said.

Now that Meyers has taken over the role that has been vacant for over a year, she is ready to effect change in Waterdown’s youth.

The centre, which opened in 2014 and is part of the Southwestern Ontario YFC/YU (a chapter of YFC/YU Canada) was envisioned as a place where youth can develop holistically – emotionally, physically, socially, mentally and spiritually. According to the Waterdown centre’s website, it is dedicated to encouraging youth to make an informed decision to follow Jesus.

“My dream is that every young person who walks through the door will know that they are worth it. That they have incredible value, that they have unlimited potential and they are the future,” Meyers said.

According to the YFC/Youth Unlimited website, the organization has a long history of outreach. Dating back to the Second World War, young men, mainly ministers and evangelists, held rallies in North America and England.

During the mid-1950s the focus shifted from spreading the word of God at large events to solely focusing on teenagers. Since then, the organization has spread across Canada and the rest of the world.

In Waterdown, the newly-appointed director is looking forward to making some changes. Meyers, says she would like to add more volunteers and staff so they can reach more youth and increase the centre’s hours of operation.

Some new initiatives have already taken place: two new staff members have been hired to facilitate a junior high program.

“That’s so that they can build relationships with kids early so that when they get to high school, they already have friendships here,” said Meyers.

Through programing at the centre, she also hopes to tackle two specific needs that she feels needs to be addressed in the community: drug use at the high school level and mental health.

“It has me researching the possibilities for meeting that need,” she said of the possibility of starting a drug rehabilitation support group in the community.

“We also want to address some of the lack of life skills. The simple things like changing a tire, babysitting courses, managing money, so these are things that can help build their confidence,” she said.

As excited as she is about the direction the centre is heading, Meyers said there are a few misconceptions in the community about what they do.

“We know that some students think we’re only here for troubled kids, while others think we’re only about religion,” she said. “The truth is that the youth centre is a safe, fun place for every young person. It’s a place where they’ll be heard and understood, it’s a journey of discovery and transformation into adulthood.”

Currently, the centre is targeted to youth ages 13-19 and open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and from 3-5 p.m.

For more information, visit: www.yfcwaterdown.com.

New director has big plans for Waterdown Youth Centre

News Jun 27, 2016 by Julia Lovett-Squires Flamborough Review

The Youth For Christ (YFC)/Youth Unlimited Waterdown Centre now has a new leader at the helm just in time for summer.

“It has been an exciting ride because May and June are some of the busiest months,” said Marilyn Meyers, satellite director for the Parkside Drive facility.

Meyers, who was hired at the beginning of May, said she feels as though this is a homecoming for her as she worked with the organization in her 20s and kept active in faith-based social work over the years.

The new director is passionate about her purpose in life and, after having children of her own and going through the teen years with them, feels she understands the particular needs they have.

“It’s a broken world right now that our kids are coping with."

“It’s a broken world right now that our kids are coping with. It’s a generation facing unique pressures that technology and media have placed on them,” she said.

Now that Meyers has taken over the role that has been vacant for over a year, she is ready to effect change in Waterdown’s youth.

The centre, which opened in 2014 and is part of the Southwestern Ontario YFC/YU (a chapter of YFC/YU Canada) was envisioned as a place where youth can develop holistically – emotionally, physically, socially, mentally and spiritually. According to the Waterdown centre’s website, it is dedicated to encouraging youth to make an informed decision to follow Jesus.

“My dream is that every young person who walks through the door will know that they are worth it. That they have incredible value, that they have unlimited potential and they are the future,” Meyers said.

According to the YFC/Youth Unlimited website, the organization has a long history of outreach. Dating back to the Second World War, young men, mainly ministers and evangelists, held rallies in North America and England.

During the mid-1950s the focus shifted from spreading the word of God at large events to solely focusing on teenagers. Since then, the organization has spread across Canada and the rest of the world.

In Waterdown, the newly-appointed director is looking forward to making some changes. Meyers, says she would like to add more volunteers and staff so they can reach more youth and increase the centre’s hours of operation.

Some new initiatives have already taken place: two new staff members have been hired to facilitate a junior high program.

“That’s so that they can build relationships with kids early so that when they get to high school, they already have friendships here,” said Meyers.

Through programing at the centre, she also hopes to tackle two specific needs that she feels needs to be addressed in the community: drug use at the high school level and mental health.

“It has me researching the possibilities for meeting that need,” she said of the possibility of starting a drug rehabilitation support group in the community.

“We also want to address some of the lack of life skills. The simple things like changing a tire, babysitting courses, managing money, so these are things that can help build their confidence,” she said.

As excited as she is about the direction the centre is heading, Meyers said there are a few misconceptions in the community about what they do.

“We know that some students think we’re only here for troubled kids, while others think we’re only about religion,” she said. “The truth is that the youth centre is a safe, fun place for every young person. It’s a place where they’ll be heard and understood, it’s a journey of discovery and transformation into adulthood.”

Currently, the centre is targeted to youth ages 13-19 and open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and from 3-5 p.m.

For more information, visit: www.yfcwaterdown.com.