To celebrate Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, we’re sharing stories from our program participants, staff, and volunteers about what makes our House so special.
Here, former youth worker Romy describes how the youth programs have transformed over the decades.
My role has changed a lot over the past 13 years. My role was frontline, I was a youth worker with the kids. This was my real, core connection to the community.
To watch these girls, Tammy and Christine, grow over the years and see them still connected to Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, that has been very heartwarming.
I’m not that hands-on anymore. Now I’m supporting other youth workers to create these memories for the teens that attend programs.
The significant change I’ve seen over the years is the variety of stuff that’s been happening at the House. We do have our ups and downs in terms of funding, but I feel there’s so much going on.
New programs have come on the scene, but old activities have also returned, like the pre-teens program for kids aged 8 to 12 years old.
It used to be a Monday to Friday program, which ran after school, to support the kids with homework.
It was very educational, but there was usually funding available to do other stuff with the pre-teens too. So the kids learned how to camp, how to cook, how to use a computer, how to budget money.
So many skills, experiences, stories and friendships came out of the pre-teen program.
Now the preteen program is only two days a week and we are working on building it back up.
Another thing that has changed is that digital capacity has creeped in a lot more. The current generation is much more into their cell phones, laptops, computers, and video games.
Back in the day there was a lot more work ethic. The kids fundraised by hosting many car washes—they weren’t scared to get dirty and scrub those cars! They would call each other out on being too slow or not doing a good job.
I have heard the current generation say, “What do you mean, I have to wash that car? I am gonna get dirty and ruin my shoes!!”
The previous generation took ownership and leadership of their fundraising to go on camping trips.
Those kids were always ready to participate, but we also had many evenings where we sat on those couches and talked for hours.