Blogs list

Warren Gordon - Rad Sad Plaid

March 31, 2016

To infinity and beyond - Will they accept me? Will they like me? How do I look? Will I be red flagged? What's for breakfast tomorrow? It's questions like these that run through my head pretty much on a daily basis. It was more so the case on the day I was entering the conference room to take part in the workshop and interview for the Disney International College Program for this year. The interview was being held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. A place I had never been before. So, to recap, I'm in a hallway with people I don't know. I'm in a hotel I've never been before, in a city I've never had adventures in. For those of you with or know others with anxiety/social anxiety, you know that this is literally the danger zone. Red. Flags. Everywhere. A little about myself, I'm 5'11 with hazel eyes. Wait, this isn't Tinder? OK - My name is Warren Gordon, I'm from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada and I live with depression, anxiety, social anxieties, suicidal thoughts and general stress. I say live with because I don't let my mental illnesses define me. I don't like to use the term suffer from because that just sounds like I want pity, and I really don't want any of that. Live with is also a proper term for me because I still haven't been properly diagnosed by our lovely medical system in Newfoundland. The thing you have to understand me is that I have an obsession with Disney. I love Disney and have…

Mica McCurdy - Choices for Youth Telegram Blog

December 02, 2015

Give Home - Home is…. a safe space, a warm environment, a welcoming smile, and the ability to be yourself. Home means many things to many people, but one thing remains the same: every person needs a home. Where were you when you first imagined your future? Where were you when someone first told you that it was going to be okay? Where were you when you realized that you could succeed? In all of those moments, you were probably at home. At Choices for Youth, the reality for many young people we serve is that they do not have a home; they face struggles each day to keep a roof over their head, and the luxury of home is usually on the bottom of their list. But it doesn’t have to be that way. At CFY, we try to provide each young person with their own version of home – whether that is a place to be supported, a place to get a hot meal, or a place to go to during crises. In all of this, we aim to provide youth with whatever they need in order to make healthy life choices and unlock their potential. Help CFY give home to the 1,000 young people served this past year. #GiveHome and donate today. Visit

Julie Brocklehurst - Tiptoeing Through

The Mayor's Challenge - In 2010, Mayor Mike Bradley of Sarnia, Ontario issued a challenge to all Ontario mayors to Do the Right Thing and hire people with disabilities. Sarnia has a long history of providing diverse employment opportunities and creating an inclusive workforce, and Mayor Bradley has been a phenomenal advocate in that area. Sarnia’s vision is to tap into the full potential of the hiring marketplace by including people who have a disability. Bradly says, “Both the city and the employees win from this. You're giving people a chance to fulfill their potential, and it's a great benefit to the workforce. Currently, people who have a disability make up 16% of the Canadian population, making them one of Canada’s largest “minority” groups with nearly 5.3 million people, equivalent to the combined populations of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Mayor Bradley is now following up his “Do the Right Thing” challenge to hire people with a disability, with a “Do the Smart Thing” initiative. Bradley says that there are many well researched studies indicating that individuals who have a disability are hardworking, dedicated employees who are more loyal to the job, have reduced absenteeism rates, better safety records, and better productivity than those on the job who don’t identify as having a disability. At the Inclusive Communities Summit here in St. John's last week, Mayor Bradley issued the challenge to Mayor Dennis O'Keefe of St. John's, Mayor Randy Simms of Mount Pearl, and Mayor Karen Oldford of Labrador City, and they eagerly accepted. Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh is the minister of…

Photo : Julie Brocklehurst April 17, 2016

Ash Douglas - Ok, ready,set,!

Board Much?? - I did something last night that I haven’t done in quite some time and that was play a board game, I didn’t need batteries, there were no wires, and I certainly didn’t need to be in WiFi range, just some old school board gaming fun.  Gaming consoles, computers, and handheld devices usually take precedent over more tradition forms of family leisure that we’ve forgotten how much fun a simple board game can be.  That said, I do know of friends and family members who still make board games a staple in their entertainment arsenal but I bet there are more that don’t.  Growing up I would always have a few board games scribbled down on my list for Santa, they usually would come as a secondary gift or maybe that gift from an aunt or uncle, but like a lot of things over time, I just grew out of playing them on a consistent basis. Whether you still play board games or not, they do have a certain appeal to them, they are nostalgic, reminiscent of Saturday night battles with your parents for household dominance, and of course the bragging rights that usually lasted a couple of days were the icing on the cake.  Although it takes a lot sometimes to dig them out of the inner bowels of the dingy part of the basement, or maybe the cobwebbed corners of the attic, but once dusted off and all pieces are accounted for, they can create some of the most fun filled nights with the…

Photo : Ash Douglas November 05, 2015

Kelly Leach - Mentoring Matters

Game On! Eat Smart, Play Smart, Live Smart this year! - We hear a lot about the pressures that face young girls. Distorted body images, eating disorders, unhealthy relationships, social media pressure, peer pressure...the list goes on. We hear less about the pressures and issues that face boys, but, the fact is, boys face all these same struggles.  Sure there are differences, between how boys experience some of these things, but ultimately, boys still worry about their appearance, they develop disordered eating and lead sedentary lifestyles, they experience unhealthy relationships, and they definitely feel pressure! Even the most privileged, well-adjusted boys will face societal pressures throughout adolescence, and learning how to cope with these pressures, how to take care of themselves and lead an active, healthy lifestyle is important for all boys. Game On! Group Mentoring provides an opportunity for boys to benefit from the leadership and encouragement of positive male role models who have committed to making healthier choices in their own lives. Game On! mentors are youthful, energetic and love being active – so they have a lot in common with Game On! group members. Game On! is a place where boys can have fun, be themselves, and feel included. The program incorporates many fun games and activities that encourage learning and support healthy choices. Game On! also explores what it means to be a boy and provides a space for boys to be themselves. During Game On! sessions boys can engage openly and honestly about the expectations that are placed on them. As part of a group, boys can explore these and other…

Photo : Kelly Leach January 05, 2016