WBYO gets a little more room to work

By: Rob Altemeyer, MLA for Wolseley

As printed in the Metro February 3, 2015

Last month I was happy to attend the grand opening of the West Broadway Youth Outreach’s (WBYO) new location at 561 Broadway.

For over 20 years the WBYO has been providing free after-school programs in the inner city. They will now be able to expand these after-school programs with a second location that will double their available space.

The WBYO sees over 70 kids a day and provides 29 programs a week. Many of the youth come from all over the city, so it’s easy to see how they outgrew their space. While the original location on Furby Street will continue to work with kids aged four to 12, the additional location on Broadway will house the programs designed for youth aged 10 to 15, including Dreams, Girls’ World and Boys’ World.

Dreams is a career mentorship program where young people are given the opportunity to meet with someone who has their dream job. If they are unsure what their dream job is, WBYO volunteers will work with them to identify one. When these young people have the opportunity to meet a mentor in their chosen field, it shows them how their dream can become reality.

Arising out of Dreams is the WBYO’s M.D. Club. This club has five teens who all want to become doctors. The WBYO has connected these five with a graduate from their after-school program who is now a doctor at the Health Sciences Centre. The M.D. Club meets once a month at HSC to learn some of the skills they will need in medicine. Last month, the club learned how to make a cast! The other two programs offered are the Girls’ World and Boys’ World. They are both focused on providing a safe space where teens can be themselves, and each year this program tackles different projects. Last year Girls’ World wrote a play on cyberbullying with local playwright Hope McIntyre that was then performed at the University of Winnipeg.

Over at Boys’ World they worked on their cooking skills and conducted science experiments with rockets. With so many excellent activities going on, it’s great to think of how many more kids WBYO will be able to welcome into their programs with their new space.

And of course, as the WBYO expands their programming, they will also be looking for more volunteers. If you are interested, please call their office at 204-774-0451, or email Ken the director or Ray the assistant director at wbyokidz@gmail.com

If you would like to know more about other programs in West Broadway, feel free to contact my office at 204-775-8575, or email me at Rob.Altemeyer@YourManitoba.ca