The term “at risk youth” is thrown around a lot, often without much thought or care. It’s a label that can feel very cold and dehumanizing.
But what are “at risk youth” really “at risk” of?
I think if we stopped and answered that question, we wouldn’t use the term so casually.
Because the truth is, right now, these youth are at risk of dying.
Drug addiction and overdose are not new to Ottawa, but the surge of overdoses over the past year is unprecedented. The youth I work with are more at risk of dying from an overdose than ever. So much so, that lately when a youth does not show up for our weekly art group, I get a knot in my stomach worrying they are the latest overdose victim.
It’s a really dark time.
But in the midst of this, the youth at Innercity Arts provide hope. Even in this darkness, they remain resilient and build each other up – like no other community I’ve ever seen.
I’m inspired by their strength. I’m humbled by their generosity. I’m thankful for their compassion.
I’m always amazed by the beautiful things they create. This year, they have created some incredible pieces of art and music and will showing it to the community.
I hope you can attend the show, and be witness to a truly hopeful thing in this dark time.
Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/131027517429263/