Coaching Youth

My passion for working with youth began with my contract with The Downtown Vernon Association (DVA) Heritage Mural Project. There I facilitated and coordinated 12 high risk youth to design and paint a dozen very large scale Heritage Murals in the Downtown Core of Vernon, BC with artist Michelle Loughery.

It is never too late to be what you might have been.
George Eliot

As I became better acquainted with the youth, their personal struggles became more apparent in their daily efforts and interactions. I found myself in a position of emotional support as they came to confide in me with their stories ranging from educational challenge to abuse. I discovered in myself a deep sense of understanding and compassion which led me to consider pursuing more "in depth" work in this area.

After researching a career change from my 11 years as owner/operator of an import/export store (Shambhala Clothing Co.), I discovered Life Coaching. Upon completion of the Erickson College "Art and Science of Life Coaching" program in Vancouver and subsequently acquiring several clients, I realized that I would be working mostly with adults.

As time progressed I became a Foster Parent in the hope of helping children in need. As a Foster Parent I found myself caring for children's needs such as nurturing, nutrition, education, and communication with their families. Fostering was very fulfilling but I still felt a great need to help and work with youth.

Often circumstances arise in foster families where the maturing youth may set out to live on their own and it is here that I found a niche. I created a "semi-independent living" youth home program called "The Crib" that partners with the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

The Crib (the name borrowed from a popular youth TV show) is a home where youth experience living on their own while still receiving help from the Ministry. They also receive Life Coaching where I endeavour to help them attain basic life skills and connect body, mind and spirit:
– understanding the importance of proper nutrition, meal planning, cooking and laundry
– developing organizational and time management skills
– determining their physical and emotional needs
– learning communication skills and life balance to improve self-esteem and confidence

In conclusion, the Crib has provided the means to fulfill the passion I felt early on with the Mural project. The program has been very successful to the point where most of the youth that move on from the Crib have remained in contact with me; sometimes for guidance or advice and sometimes for friendship and a caring ear.