May 2019 marks my 25th year serving youth at Argus. I started as a student on an academic placement. I was given the task of supporting a young person who accessed Argus following a brutal assault. While it was my job to help her change her life circumstances, it was actually she who changed my life.
Despite being the same age, the disparity between her life experience and mine affected me deeply. I grew up with the unconditional love of family. She did not have any family. I ate well. She had sporadic access to food. I always had a roof over my head. She did not. I was pursuing my education. Her mother withdrew her from school at the age of five. I had friends. She had a boyfriend who assaulted her – regularly.
My journey with her forced me out of my sheltered existence to consider the lives young people who lived without shelter. My motivation to help had less to do with charity and more to do with fairness – promoting equity and inclusion by providing support and opportunity. I remember visiting the young person when she left the shelter and moved into an apartment. She was so proud to have a place to call home.
Now, 25 years later, thousands of youth serve, I have never forgotten her. I remain in her debt for what she taught me and for helping me become a better person. I hope that one day she will read this blog and contact me. I would like to thank her in person.
If you are interested in supporting community youth through the work at Argus, please contact me. There is an important role we all have in making our community, a better place.