Beneath the beautiful scenery and collections of kind, well-groomed people in Langley are other groups whose struggles are not often seen, but they are constantly felt. We concentrate on that underground group, building relationships with what many would call ‘at risk’ youth. We like to call them ‘at promise.’ Working alongside both elementary and high schools and running a wide variety of activities, we can regularly be found meeting with kids on the streets or in local coffee shops, as well as providing meals and support of all kinds.
The staff in Langley are committed to going out and reaching youth in the places nobody else goes. We strategize in order to bring light to unreached people groups. Our strategy flows out of five words. Intersect. Invest. Intercede. Incubate. Inspire. Our goal is not to run programs, but to use programs as a tool to Intersect, Invest, Intercede, Incubate, and Inspire these kids. Once a tool is no longer necessary we drop it and move on to the next tool that will help us accomplish our true goals of reaching and impacting these hard to reach kids.
A few of the exciting tools we are using right now are programs like Art Addicts. Art Addicts is a way for our staff, lead by Chris Hawthorne, to intersect into kids lives by offering weekly art challenges and experiences. It moves from a place of intersection, to a place of Incubation as intentional discussions about big life issues arise in the safe environment of Art Addicts. This program has far exceeded all expectations we originally had for it, and is gaining enthusiasm from the community. It has been expanded from it’s original location of Walnut Grove Recreation Center on Wednesdays 3pm-5pm, to also being offered at Langley Secondary School on Tuesdays from 3pm-5pm.
A long standing program that we have been involved with for many years now is Nights Alive. It’s a recreation program for kids grades 5-7 on fridays from 6-8 at Langley Meadows Elementary School, which has provided an excellent space for one of our staff, Carmen Rempel, to Intersect with and Inspire the young kids during weekly themed talks about everything from coping skills, to anti-bullying. The goal here is to use this space to build long-term relationships with these kids into their teenaged years and beyond.
Nights Alive has been an excellent tool in the hands of our staff, and has even provided the space for another tool to emerge! Momentum is a program that our newest staff, Shawna Leighton, uses to Invest in the lives of teens. The momentum students volunteer with the kids at Nights Alive while being mentored and taught by Shawna. Momentum has provided an excellent avenue for Shawna to Intersect and Invest in the lives of the kids involved.