The True Spirit of Community

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I know I say this a lot, but every day I come into work I really feel blessed to be doing something that I really love…

Every day is a challenge, it’s never boring, it’s mostly a lesson. The great thing about that is that the more I learn, the more I can share, and that’s the true spirit of community.

I think back to the beginning of this year and I never could have imagined what we have achieved. It was such humbling experience to be invited to the UK by H.E Bishop Angaelos in August, where we got to meet a passionate, enthusiastic group of young people who can’t wait to get started on the Exodus Youth Worx UK chapter. It makes me feel like we’re doing something right. Well I always knew we were, but the recognition just highlights all of the good work.

One of my other very favourite things that I got to do this year was to deliver our Lifeworx program at a local high school. Part of my role at EYW is to be a support person for young people who are referred to us by Juvenile Justice, as well as go to court with them and sometimes even visit them in prison. Programs like Lifeworx, that are all about life skills and early intervention, can be the one thing that stands between a young person and bad decision. I vote for this program be mandatory in all schools.

Our iWorx program is running at its fifth year now. It has evolved a few times over the years, but the most consistent thing about it has been the amazing confidence that our young people develop. This comes from encouragement and a real belief in their own ability that may not have ever been nurtured before, for whatever reason. It’s inspiring to watch a young person tap into their talents and quite literally change their life.

I’m also really grateful to have been a part of the learning experience for our Social Work, Community Services and Youth Work students. To be a part of that process is very meaningful, as it makes us better at what we do.

It’s great to be part of such a diverse and dedicated team. We support and encourage each other, and this makes our ideas achievable. Of course, we would never be able to do any of this without the generous support of our donors and volunteers.

The programs and services that we offer at EYW are unique. The feedback that we get from families and other services is that nobody else is doing what we do and that inspires us to even bigger things.

Janet Habashi, Senior Case Manager