2023 05 23 | Host: Jim Kanester | Sara Issac of Teen Junction

This morning we were visited by Sara Issac, Program Manager for Teen Junction, a long-time cause for VSSRotary. Teen Junction, a division of BGC Okanagan (aka, Boys & Girls Club), strives to provide a safe environment for youth to be themselves. Everything from food & meals to shelter and a safe, supportive place to hang-out is available to those in need. "I like to use food as a way to bring people together," said Sara.

Open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 300pm to 800pm and by appointment, the Junction offers programs to help youth develop life-skills that will be conducive to future success. Things such as cooking, cleaning, gardening, art, and language lessons are available. The staff of 2 along with volunteers provide not only the programmatic elements of what is offered, but support for youth outside of the Junction's opening hours such as sending food home to those in need.

A former client of Teen Junction herself, Sara shared with the club her journey and why she is so passionate about what the organization does. She indicated, "Teen Junction probably saved my life at a time when I was on a destructive path. I hope I can continue that impact for the lives of others."

Pre-Covid the Centre served an average of 35 youth per day, but that declined during the pandemic, and is on the upswing, now with them seeing about 10 kids per week. The next exciting initiative is the launch of a collaboration with the Vernon Art Gallery, hosting works from youth that have visited the Centre.

Teen Junction is a frequent beneficiary of the 50-50s Silver Star Rotary leads at the Vipers games. As VSSRotary has identified youth support as a key theme for its activities, Teen Junction and its parent, BGC Okanagan are obviously aligned with our aims.

Thanks to Jim Kanester for coordinating Sara's visit.

For more information, please email or call 250-306-5812.