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A bittersweet closure

A path within a field, with yellow flowers and grass.

For those of you who haven’t read my first blog, I am a Child and Youth Worker (fast track) student who has been on placement with mindyourmind.ca since early June of this year.  My placement is now coming to a close and I would like to take a moment to reflect on my time with this wonderful organization.

As it is with any new situation, when I came into the office on the first day I was immensely nervous. I had never been in a professional role before and I was very uneasy about how I might perform. It normally takes me a while to adapt to new environments but the staff here made me feel so welcome! I immediately felt like a member of the team, never as an understudy. As the days went by, I felt all of my inhibitions slipping away. The team members’ were always there to help me and ready to point out all of my strengths, leaving me to feel confident and secure. One of the best aspects of working with mindyourmind is that they were very respectful of my learning. When an opportunity to work directly with youth arose, they always made a point to include me. There was never a time that I had to chase anyone for feedback as they were always ready to encourage me with positive feedback and help me to see the areas that I needed to grow the most. All of the staff were ready to immerse me in new experience to get the skills I needed to be successful.

I must say, the greatest part of it all was International Youth Day. Over 130 youth came out to the event to attend the wonderful workshops that were organized and take part in all the other events within the area (i.e. chalk art, marketplace). I really mean it when I say that we need to appreciate our youth. Sometimes we get so caught up thinking about all the mischief that the news reports about youth that we generalize these assumptions and condemn them. How is anyone going to accomplish anything if we can’t see the good in them? And I think that’s something that is really conveyed during International Youth Day. Youth are our future and they have the ability to change the world for the better. It’s so vital that we see that potential and use that to nurture confidence. The team members ‘ spend countless hours putting together this event and it’s all because they truly value youth!

So, as my placement comes to a close, I feel bittersweet. I am very sad to leave the people who I have learned so much from and had so many laughs with over the summer. But I am also happy and grateful to have been able to spend this time with them and to be able to take these experiences and apply them within my future endeavours. mindyourmind will always hold a special place in my heart. Not only for the amazing things they do every day for youth and mental health, but also for the amazing people they are as individuals.