In 2005 I had just moved back to Gabriola after a few years in Toronto, and all of my old friends were raving about the Gathering Place and the Teen Peer Helping program (TPH). For an island where there isn’t much for youth to do with their time, TPH seemed like the best opportunity to get involved in the community and have some fun with friends.
TPH does a great job of helping youth develop skills for peer support and awareness. It also helps to create an excellent support network for each individual involved. I was able to develop a strong, positive, social network on the island. Not only that, but I learned how to act in supportive roles for my peers, thereby creating benefits for both myself and those around me. When I look back on my teenage years, almost all of my fondest memories relate to the people I met through Teen Peer Helping.
Those same interpersonal and leadership skills developed through TPH will play a huge role in Teen Peer Helpers’ futures, no matter what field or career path they transition into. The skills and experiences from TPH were essential to many scholarship applications I submitted, and played a huge role in my obtaining scholarships for post-secondary education. Especially with the workforce becoming increasingly competitive, having these experiences at a young age did wonders for my resume, too.
In almost any career environment, you have to work alongside friends, and the leadership roles I undertook with TPH gave me excellent experience balancing personal friendships with work relationships. It’s a hard skill to master, and getting the experience I did at such a young age has been elemental in my academic and career pursuits.
Obviously, the program isn’t going to be for everyone, but I really think TPH offers a phenomenal opportunity for island youth to get engaged and involved in their communities. I had an amazing experience and I think many others have too. So if you’re a teen thinking about joining, I recommend you give it a shot and try it for yourself.
My three years in TPH was an incredible learning experience. TPH created that positive, supportive environment to spend time with friends, develop personally, and give back to the community. I gained countless life and interpersonal skills, and the leadership roles that I took on gave me tremendous career skills that I will always carry with me.
Brendan graduated from UBC in Biology and Business last year. At 23, he’s currently expanding his industry experience as a sales representative for a biotechnology company based in Vancouver.
Become a Partner in Prevention today.
Pledge $5-$500 monthly to help reinstate Teen Peer Helping.
Phone 250-739-8929 or the Hope Centre: 250-247-8730.
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