NorthWind Family Ministries work with youth and young adults is twofold:
An 8-week program: retreats, LifeBuild (Youth), volunteering & mentorship
Northern Student Connections
Welcoming northern students into safe places
Many of our Indigenous youth and young adults live in fear of violence and discrimination daily. Many have also suffered through trauma and grief.
Thunder Bay is at times an unsafe place for our Indigenous youth and young adults. These young people need a supportive environment to learn how to assess safety and address decisions brought about by the struggles of adolescence such as low self-esteem.
In response, we developed a program called Enhance. It is designed as a well-rounded program including relationship-building weekend retreats, volunteer experiences, weekly mentorship, and LifeBuild workshops. Although Enhance is a new program, we have successfully accomplished parts of it in years past as we hosted Aboriginal students for recreation/land-based retreats and offered them LifeBuild workshops. We are confident that Enhance has a great potential of providing effective support to at-risk Aboriginal students.
What the Enhance Program looks like:
- A kick-off weekend retreat at Eagle’s Cove to build trust and community among participants and LifeBuild coaches; enhancing the high value of community within the Aboriginal culture.
- Six customized weekly LifeBuild workshops set in oral tradition style, with hands-on application experience, teaching on topics such as self-esteem, conflict resolution, assessing environment safety, etc.
- During the weeks, each youth will also participate in volunteer work opportunities to acquire experience and accumulate hours towards secondary school volunteer requirements. It will be designed to boost confidence and help them apply the fundamental employment-success skills.
- Each participant will have a one-on-one mentor to help him/her to succeed in all aspects of the Enhance program. Each participant’s mentor will support success, offer life-affirming feedback as needed. All NorthWind staff and volunteers are vulnerable sector screened. Registered professional counsellors are available upon request.
- The Enhance program concludes with a weekend retreat at Eagle’s Cove; it is geared to encourage and demonstrate personal growth and community connections.
- Participants are encouraged to continue to attend other LifeBuild workshops offered monthly and remain connected to mentors, coaches and other participants.
Northern Student Connections
Building friendships with students entering the city from northern communities is important to us. We connect with them at Dennis Franklin Cromarty School. We offer weekend retreats at Eagle’s Cove. LifeBuild workshops geared for youth and young adults and on-going one on one connections are other ways we seek to support these students.
To sign up a group of students for this program, or to receive more information about registration and costs, please fill out the form.