Chestermere’s youth leadership development and wellness education hub, Synergy, became a registered charity on Jan. 1, and is excited for the new opportunities this milestone brings.
“We always knew we were a charity, we just had to show it and prove it,” said Program Coordinator of four years Terry Gill.
“We see everyone from future leaders, to high risk youth,” said Gill.
Synergy is always assessing the needs of youth and figuring out ways to best help at risk youth, youth who are struggling with school, youth who are looking to connect with other community members as mentors, and youth who are requiring professional mental health assistance.
“We always make time for anyone who walks through the door, the fact that the kids are trusting me is a honour,” Gill added.
By becoming a registered charity Synergy is now validated in what the organization does, including programs such as YELL Youth Council, YELL Coffee Talk, and Homework Helpers.
Gill added the Youth Council program is empowering to the youth in the community as it teaches responsibility, and project planning by being youth driven.
“Even being a charity, you’re not guaranteed anything, we have more opportunities open for us, but the competition is fierce,” he said.
Since the funds required to continue with previous programming isn’t guaranteed, Gill added, right now there isn’t funding for the Youth Council to begin again this fall.
Synergy is looking for ways to find sustainable funding for their current programing.
“The need keeps growing,” said Gill, “the hope is still there.”.
Gill added, Synergy is thinking and planning ahead to bring new programs to youth in the community, such as programs for LGBTQ plus youth, and wellness programs including mental health support.
Gill’s hope for Synergy is to have a mental health professional at the office for people who need the support.
“There is a huge need here, we see it on a daily basis,” he said.
Synergy will continue with involvement the organization has within schools in the community, Coffee Talks which allow youth to have a safe space to talk, and tutoring youth who require it.
“If you need help that’s what we’re here for, if you’re looking to connect, we’re a family. We can serve as a referral, and we’ll help you find your way,” Gill added, “there are some amazing youth here, they are capable of so much.”
“We want people to get involved. Everyone is in a rush, we want people to be mindful of what a great community we live in,” he said.
For Gill making a difference in the community, teaching youth leadership skills, project planning and taking ownership of their own responsibilities is the best part of working with Synergy.
“We truly directly make a difference on a daily basis. At times it can be exhausting, but there’s no other time when I get up itching to go to work,” he said.
For additional information or to get involved with Synergy visit https://www.yoursynergy.ca or call 403-212-0242.