Last week, I took a trip to a local Boys and Girls Club near our Today’s Parent office and got a bit more involved than I originally planned.
Walking through the doors, I was immediately enveloped by a crowd of busy (and OK, a little noisy) kids signing in. My inner camp counselor was itching to call order to the apparent chaos but that’s just not the way they roll here. The staff were calm pillars amidst the group, addressing each child by name and attending to each question, concern and statement in turn.
After the buzz quieted down and the children rushed off to join their groups at various activities somewhere within the building, I checked in with the staff and took off for a tour. I’m not sure how, but I plan on somehow finding a way to come back to this location again. The building is full of colour and the atmosphere is so welcoming and full of inclusion. This place belongs to the kids there and I felt a strong sense of pride to be part of a company like Rogers that sees the value in that and contributes to it.
Seeing a room full of iMacs (much like my beloved machine at my desk) surrounded by excited, engaged little faces was uplifting. The Rogers Youth Fund is making a difference here. These kids have access to high-end machines with resources to help them with their homework, projects, job searches, and (educational) games on the Internet. I could have stayed in that room all afternoon.
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After I had seen everything (youth room, rock climbing wall, computer lab, art room, library, dance studio, gym-adorned with Toronto Blue Jays insignia, exercise room and kitchen) I sat down with a 17-year-old to ask her some questions. We talked about her plans for the future, and how the programs offered at the Boys and Girls Club had inspired some of those goals and what it meant to her to know she had this place to come to after school. She told me about her friends in the Rogers Raising the Grade mentoring program and the relationships and bonds they have built with their mentors. It made me want to be that someone for a teenager. We started talking about her goals and instantly started connecting about her interest in fashion and what other options in the field there were instead of design (I almost went down that path before discovering my impatience for sewing). I couldn’t help but give her my card, and I really hope she calls.
Today we are celebrating Rogers Youth Education Day to give youth a brighter future. Help us help our partners across Canada give kids access to Internet, information and help outside of the classroom. Tweet, share and “like” us on Facebook and Rogers will donate $1 towards mobile tech units filled with five tablets, a Rogers Rocket Mobile Hotspot and LTE connectivity provided by Rogers.
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