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Youth Recreation Activity Worker grads are ready to give back

June 13, 2018

On May 24, 12 students have successfully completed the Youth Recreation Activity Worker (YRAW) program, and are ready to provide inner-city youth with healthy recreational activities and serve as positive role models.

Each year, Red River College (RRC) and Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg partner to train individuals — many of whom face socio-economic barriers themselves — to work with inner city youth as recreational leaders. The nine-month program is designed for individuals ages 18-29, who live in or around Winnipeg’s inner city, and face barriers to obtaining their post-secondary education.

Graduates of the program find jobs with Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg, other inner city youth agencies, or as childhood educators and teachers’ aides. Other grads continue their studies in RRC’s Youth and Child Care diploma program or go on to university.

This program has been changing participants’ lives for 16 years. Two grads from the 2018 class, Paul McLean and Sappfyre McLeod, share parts of their graduation speeches on what this program has meant for them.

Paul McLean:

This has been an amazing experience that I am never going to forget, including the stress and grey hair that came with it. It is because of my awesome instructors in this program that I have gained this new knowledge on what it truly is to be a Youth Care Worker, and I want to say thank you to them. Working with youth has always been something that I have been passionate about and to help show the youth that I work with a new positive outlook on life.

To my classmates, fellow graduates, and new friends, we are now going in a new chapter of life full of possibilities and new opportunities. There will be multiple downs in life, but those downs are needed to appreciate the ups even more.

Sappfyre McLeod:

I am filled with such gratitude to be here in this moment with you all.

This has been my most successful academic year to date.

Before coming into this program, my experiences with post-secondary education were personally very discouraging. I had no clear idea of what I wanted to do or where I wanted to be. I had and still do have very lofty ambitions, but I just didn’t know how I would get there. My previous performance reflected that confusion.

It was not due to a lack of talent or smarts, potential or drive. I remember being disheartened and confused. Feeling lost as to “why I couldn’t do it” why I couldn’t as successful as I wanted. When I knew I had the skills to do so. I wanted to give up.

And then in an odd twist of fate I was met with this opportunity. I was able to clarify the vision I have of my future. Hone and tune the skills I already have. This program greatly reaffirmed for me my value and my worth. Helping me grow as a person at such a pivotal moment in my adult life as I explore who I am and who I wish to be. The clarity and insight I’ve gain from this program go unmatched. Giving me the confidence, skills and certification to continue doing the work that I love in a way that positively impacts my community. I couldn’t be more grateful.

Applications for the fall intake are being accepted now.

Learn more about the program here or contact Randy Wagner at 204.982.4943.