Posted by Mary-Anne Mackett on Apr 30, 2019

Today's unique presentation from Alex Aiello and Gavin Maxton, YOWs (Youth Outreach Workers) in Thunder Bay, continues PA Rotary clubs' mandate to partner and interact with important but often under-publicized social justice warriors in Thunder Bay.

Youth Outreach Workers or YOWs like Alex and Gavin have many years of experience and are truly out in the community, face to face with youth in the 12-25 year old age group, be they Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal. They hang out with them. They do not preach. They connect in order to steer vulnerable youth to any of the many agencies that can help them. Under the banner of Dilico Anishinabek Family Care, YOW Services connects the youths to Crisis and Suicide Response, Health care, Counselling, Housing, Legal Aid, Employment, and many other services. They connect via social media sites and word of mouth. They can be found at the mall, giving talks on Anti-Bullying and Internet Safety, walking down at the river edge, in the hospital or wherever there may be youths with unmet needs. The process is informal and the connections can spawn relationships and appropriate referrals.
A healthy Q&A session followed the presentation.

Alex (middle) and Gavin (middle-left) are flanked by President-elect Rod Morrison (who introduced them, far left), Mary-Anne Mackett (who thanked them) and President Warren Philp (far right). The club is indebted to the YOWs for very important and helpful community work.