Melfort Big Brothers Big Sisters evolves with Youth Evolution

MELFORT — Melfort Big Brothers Big Sisters is ending, with the needs of being met by Melfort Youth Evolution for the future.

Melfort Youth Evolution is a youth council striving to bring activities to the youth of Melfort. The group has offered activities for youth that have included paint nights, bowling nights and gemstone bracelet making.

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“In 2017, we hosted some community meetings and talked to the youth to see how we could better serve the youth in the community,” said Kathryn Carswell, development coordinator with Melfort Big Brothers Big Sisters.

In the spring of 2018, Melfort Big Brothers Big Sisters organized a delegation of youth to go to the 11th annual provincial Youth Conference in Saskatoon.

“The youth went, and it was good, but it was geared very much towards the urban centres rather than rural issues the kids were facing,” she said. “When we came back we talked and they said they would very much like to form a youth council.”

With the support of Big Brothers Big Sisters, they formed the council.

“They got together and they came up with the ‘Melfort Youth Evolution’ as their name, because they thought it was perfect as they would evolve to whatever the city’s needs were or the youths’ needs were.”

Carswell said Big Brothers Big Sisters took a hard look at themselves at this time.

“The fact we had struggled for quite some time to find mentors, and if we could fill the needs of the kids in the community in some other avenue with some other method we could grow this way.”

The Big Brothers Big Sisters matches have officially closed with eight youth on the waiting list, the same eight who had been there since last year.

Carswell said some of the youth on the waiting list will transition to the Melfort Youth Evolution, while others have and some are too young to join yet, as it starts at Grade 7.

North East Outreach and Support Services (NEOSS) is a partnering organization for Melfort Youth Evolution.

Louise Schweitzer, NEOSS’ executive director, said Melfort Youth Evolution will be working from NEOSS offices and NEOSS will be supplying them with funding to make them self-sustaining.

Carswell will be becoming the youth coordinator with NEOSS and adult ally with the Melfort Youth Evolution.

Carswell said she’s excited for the new transition.

“We’re unlimited, ideas are unlimited, we can reach kids directly without the search for adult mentors,” she said.

“It’s going to be opening so many doors and it’s going to be great for our community.”

Melfort Youth Evolution is open to all youths starting at Grade 7, and up to and including college.

To keep up-to-date on Melfort Youth Evolution programming, youth can find them on Instagram and Facebook.

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