Stayer Event for Youth within the
Community. What an amazing time!
We grow through our experiences and learn through our mistakes.
I am happy to have also had the opportunity to grow and learn so much about myself through the UP Project. I have truly grown up and have had so many chances I didn’t know I would have. I feel lucky to have had my voice heard and be able to support others walk calmly down paths I may have stumbled on.
Sara – Barrie Youth Leader
As a teenager I have faced so many up’s and down’s in my life and have had many thoughts of suicide. Then I realized if something isn’t going how you want it… make it. “Be the change” and make a difference. Ever since then “be the change” is something I live by.
My name is Melissa Frenette Talaga, and I am a 17 year old Alcona UP project youth leader. I recently moved to Alcona. I used to live in Richmond Hill, which were way different conditions than living here in Innisfil. I had a city bus at the end of my street, and always had somewhere to go, people to see, activities to do. When I moved here, there was nothing. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, everyone was to far to see. This is why I joined the UP project. Even though I hadn’t started experimenting as a way to keep myself entertained, it came to my attention, that it’s what people were doing here because they had nothing else to do. My friend who was part of the UP project already brought to my attention that she was working on changing all that, she was trying to bring transportation and activities here, so that drugs and alcohol wouldn’t be our only resort. I joined the UP project in august, and I hope to continue with them until things have changed.
“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got” Janis Joplin
Hi, my name is Ryan and I am a youth leader at Nottawasaga Pines Secondary School in Angus. I joined the UP project because I hate watching people suffer and feel like there are no other options. I feel by joining this program I will help my friends and peers overcome their fears and see that there are other paths to take. I also joined this project to not only educate other people but to educate myself. One of the most important reasons why I joined this group was to help parents see things from a teens’ perspective and how the wrong choices could not only affect the relationship with their youth but could also make their problems worse.
SINCE I JOINED THE UP PROJECT… I have become more aware of the services to youth and the amount of help that actually is out there, that they may not have known about. I am new to “UP” however I would like to help out and stay part and help out and give back to the community. When I was growing up I screwed up many times because of no one being there, having the proper support and help needed can change someone’s life. I think that one person can make an impact but a group of us could possibly change the world. Everyone deserves a hand and support when they need it. (Ally, Barrie Youth Leader)
“Since joining the UP Project I have gained so much. While sharing my own experiences and opinions I have been able to help put certain youth issues into the spotlight in hopes that we can find resolutions and improve the lives of future children and adolescents in our community. It is a great feeling to know that I am really making a difference in the world around me and that youth’s voices are finally being heard. The positive feedback that we get from people we have presented to is such a confidence boost and it’s just another thing that keeps me going.” (Megan, Barrie Youth Leader)
My name is Madison and I am an Angus Youth Leader for the UP Project. I joined UP to help bring awareness to both adults and youth about the differences in perspectives about drugs and alcohol while recognizing that our judgments and bias can really impact our communication. A message I am trying to express through the project is that there are other things to help with your problems, other than drugs and alcohol; there are people and places that are willing to help you through difficult times.
Collingwood Youth Leader
“I feel that people sometimes forget to think about how they’ve treated or judged other people. We’re not the same, and we don’t learn/grow/mature at the same rates, but that doesn’t mean that we never will. People deserve second chances, because we do learn from experiences, they just take time. I hope this picture makes people reflect on how they treat and/or judge others.” Ashley-Belle
Since joining the UP Project, I have gained a lot of confidence in myself. I used to be a shy person, when it came to expressing my feelings, but now I’m able to stand up in front of 300+ppl and tell them my personal story related to mental health & drug use. There was a very low point in my life when I wasn’t in school, I had no home, my family didn’t support me, I had no job and I couldn’t even afford to feed myself…& UP was the only consistent thing in my life; it gave me hope to push forward. I feel amazing knowing that I am contributing to my community just by voicing my opinion & reaching out to youth in positions like I was once in. “UP” in Orillia has gone so far, and I know that we did this, and it’s a great feeling!” Monique
Be brave and make your stand. Stay true to yourself. Say no to drugs and peer pressure. You are worth Fighting for!
“Don’t stand in the shadows of others, stand tall and be a leader of your own life”
Live and Learn, I had those experiences with drugs already and I have learned from my mistakes. I know I will never go down that road again because of the bad situations I always seemed to find myself in. I had troubles with family, friends, all my peers and the law. No respect from the people you love, no respect towards them, and losing all self respect, wrecking your body. None of this was worth a quick fix for me. It just took me awhile to figure that out.
My whole life people have been trying to tell me what is right for me, what person I am going to become and basically how I should live MY life. No matter what people say you have to believe that you are doing the right thing and be happy with that. There will be many obstacles to your dreams… DREAM ANYWAYS!
“It’s the countless let downs that eventually lead to all smiles and no frowns – My lyrics”
The UP project has really turned my whole life around. In grade ten I started going in the wrong direction and wasn’t being the person I wanted to be. I was using drugs to cope with the stress in my life and used them to fit in. UP has given me the turn around that I needed. I was looking for a way to educate kids so that they wouldn’t make the same mistakes that I did and UP was a perfect fit. I have had a bad relationship with my parents for a long time which lead to me using drugs for the most part. I found a way out and if I can anyone can. The hardest part about everything was talking to my girlfriend about what I had done. I let everyone around me down and I never want to go through that again. The biggest thing that I realized is how much more fun I can have without being under the influence and how much my friends respect my decision. Just remember, it’s never over.
many roads are long and lonely find god and find the faith and hope to achieve greatness your family won’t be there for every situation but he will
“Seize today, because every day is an opportunity for a new start”