For the last month, the Nakusp Youth Centre has been under the management of a new youth coordinator.
Rachel Adair was looking for work in the area related to her field of study, something that was educational and involving youth. When she heard about the youth coordinator position that had opened up, she jumped at the opportunity.
“I really like it,” she said. “I feel like there is a lot of responsibility, but I enjoy being in that leadership role, and I see there is a lot of potential for empowering the youth. I’m excited.”
Adair has a background in linguistics, and is currently working on completing her Masters in education.
Adair has experience in working with youth. Before coming to Nakusp, she spent four years teaching in Laos, a country in Central Asia bordering Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China.
Right now she’s figuring out how things work at the youth centre, and is trying to plan activities that might interest the youth.
One activity that was very successful was a visit to Revelstoke, where she and the youth, along with a couple of volunteers, went on the pipe coaster.
Currently, the most successful evening at the youth centre is nerd night, which is held once a week. Teenagers come to the centre, where they play various board games and sometimes computer games if one of them brings a laptop.
While events like this are great, Adair would like to branch out and try different theme nights to bring in more youth. One such event is art night.
“People who like any kind of art are coming in and Amy Surina is going to come and do a little tutorial for some anime drawing,” she said.
Along with art night, Adair is trying to get youth involved with more food and baking activities. Some of the activities will take place at the youth centre, but because there isn’t a complete kitchen in the centre, arrangements will have to be made for any larger scale activities.
One of the challenges Adair faces is just trying to get youth to come to the centre.
“I really think people would enjoy it if they just came,” she said. “I can plan activities — and I would love to get the youth involved in planning activities as well — but if no one comes, that’s the challenge.”
She said she would have loved to have something like the centre where she was growing up, somewhere she could feel safe and comfortable and she wishes more youth could make it out.
“The youth need something to do, they should have a place of their own.”