My Experience as a Peer Youth Worker

Monday, October 28, 2019

The fact that I could talk to someone about problems I’m facing without being judged.
The following guest post was written by Blaise Patterson, a student who worked as a Peer Youth Worker for Nexus Youth Services in 2018-19. For more information about student placements, volunteering and employment opportunities with Nexus, please visit our Careers page.

While completing my studies, I had many opportunities to learn and grow, and among those opportunities was a chance to work at Nexus Youth Services as a summer student, then a Peer Youth Worker (PYW) supporting young people between the ages of 14 – 24 at the Nexus Youth Centre.

From the very first day, I knew that the Nexus Youth Centre was a special place. Never before had I felt so welcome, so quickly, in a new workplace. Nexus is filled with passionate, knowledgeable staff who are committed to empowering youth; as well as a variety of youth who visit the centre, all of who I consider myself very fortunate to have met.

As a PYW, I learned and developed skills that will be useful to me throughout my life and career. For example, I learned how to work with diverse groups of youth and community partners and had lots of opportunities to practice leadership. In a little under a year, I improved my community outreach skills by facilitating special events like a skateboarding tournament, basketball tournament and a plethora of workshops. There was a lot to learn, but the Nexus staff team encouraged me to take on new challenges and supported me as I balanced work, school and daily life.

From new friends and professional contacts, to volunteer opportunities and the chance to make a positive impact for young people in Peel Region, the Nexus Youth Centre has something to offer everyone. Despite its small size, Nexus has a giant impact on the surrounding community, and I feel very fortunate to have worked there.

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