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Jordan’s Story

As an educator dedicated to working with at risk youth, I am fortunate to have a teaching position that allows me to work with students in such a unique setting.

Youth who attend the Elizabeth Fry SKY Program have had many of the same experiences, and face many of the same challenges, as other at-risk youth I have taught.  There is, however, a striking difference. While youth are participating in the SKY program they are afforded the opportunity to have distance from their home community. They are housed in safe, caring homes and are supported by the staff from SKY, SD73, and each other.

In the past two years I have had a young woman in my class who had been away from any educational setting for a lengthy period, only to be completing courses and writing provincial exams shortly after entering the program. One young man did everything in his power to stay in the program as long as he possibly could!  It was a pleasure to see him gain confidence and self-esteem over the course of his time in Kamloops, and witness the role that the staff in the SKY program played in his success. Although many youths have not had positive experiences in a school environment in the past, they appeared to thrive within the structure of this particular program, and therefore in the school setting as well.

Because of the optimal learning conditions provided by the SKY Program, I am able to support and work with these young people and help them to discover what they are capable of when the world outside the classroom is working for them instead of against them.  I am grateful that the SKY program exists, and that SD73 has had the chance to partner with the Elizabeth Fry Society to give students in difficult circumstances the opportunity to learn and grow in positive ways.

Written by: Jordan Smith-  Teacher – Twin Rivers Education Center / OSPREY-SKY Program