Youth and communities need safe and engaging places for youth to gather and be themselves.
In autumn of 1993, local citizens came together to discuss the best way to address the needs of youth in our community. These citizens formed a committee called the Kemptville and Area Youth Advocacy Committee (KAYAC). KAYAC hosted many focus groups with youth to gather input and actively involve youth in a process that would directly affect them. The product of their mutual efforts was a youth drop-in centre that now provides a safe, non-judgemental environment for all youth.
There are many ingredients required to run a successful youth centre:
- Sustainable energy: We are lucky to have a driven staff that can take a project and move it along, motivating and drawing others in to help.
- Funding: We acquire funding from grants, federal and provincial government, municipalities, other charitable organizations, donors and fundraisers.
- Youth ownership: We empower our youth with a sense of responsibility for the Kemptville Youth Centre and a sense of input into what happens here.
- Mentorship: We look for those special individuals who have a knack for interacting with youth, inspiring, encouraging and supporting them in defining and achieving their life goals.
- Community connectedness: Many community members offer their support and resources to operate the Kemtville Youth Centre. In turn, our youth give back to the community creating a two-way connectedness.
- Effective coordination: Our Board and Committee members help mobilize resources for the benefit of the youth of the Kemptville Youth Centre.