YCC Magazine

Vol.3 Issue 1

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8 I f youth have passion and creativity they can make a tremen- dous impact on their community and often the world! Stories are often told of extraordinary youth making a difference to society. When given even the smallest of support, youth will take that support and turn it into something great! Here is the story of thirteen remarkable youth who created exceptional youth programming for their community. In 2014, a retired high school teacher had moved back to her hometown of Badger's Quay, NL and found that there wasn't much going on in the realm of youth programming other than sports. Badger's Quay is located amongst the town of New- Wes-Valley on Highway 26 in Newfoundland and Labrador. She decided to write a play for the youth of New-Wes-Valley to get involved in and just have a bit of fun. She sought out creative youth at the local school and found thirteen kids who were more than willing to participate! Florence (Flo) Cross entitled the play "I Mind's a Time" and aimed to connect the youth of the community with their heritage. The story was told from the perspective of a Grandfa- ther speaking to his children about Badgers Quay and the surrounding area. The youth decided to call themselves Building Bridges Youth Theatre Group and worked hard to put together the show for the surrounding communities. The Cape Freels Heritage Trust, a community-based non-profit entity within New-Wes-Valley was able to provide the youth with a space to perform at the Barbour Living Heritage Village where tourists were already flocking. The local community was very supportive! The youth learned a lot from working on the stage. They volun- teered with everything from creating props, set up, lighting and acting. Due to all their hard work, the show was a huge success! The group made enough to cover the cost of putting off the play and much more! With the extra profit, Flo decided that the youth should get a cut of the money; which equalled out to $500.00 each. All the hard work had really paid off. However, the youth didn't want to take the money. They had so much fun that summer that they wanted youth programming to continue in their area. The youth asked Flo to reinvest the money into a new venture that could give back to the youth of the community! Five years later, the Building Bridges Youth Theatre Group is still standing strong. Some of the original thirteen kids have moved on to different areas of life, while others still come back to participate each year! The group has given an opportunity to so many youth of New-Wes-Valley and has expanded to involve youth from surrounding communities. The youth have even started to write their own plays, which is a wonderful way to share their creativity. Each play focuses on an inspiring message that the youth want to deliver to the community. "Gift Ed" was a play the group put on that showed that everyone has a gift or talent to share. Some other plays they've written include "Lester's Letters," "Cast Off," "I Mind's Anudder Time," and "The Future of our History." This year Building Bridges Youth Theatre Group will be celebrating their 5th season of operation! There are talks about a play focusing on labels.The writing team which includes Gelina White, Shellsea Nichols, Leah Nichols and other cast are currently working hard with Flo to write the next performances in their writing room! So what happened to the $6500 that the youth reinvested into their community? Flo wanted to help the kids create something that could keep giving back to them. In 2017, Karma Kafé was opened in Newtown, NL as a shared venture between the thirteen youth. To learn more about Karma Kafé and the other work the youth are getting involved in head to pages 18 and 19! BUILDING Bridges Between YOUTH & Their Communities

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