Downtown Toronto offers lots of community resources for teens, but which programs are still operating during the COVID lockdown? Angela Kwan, Lucky Jay Allam, Alaa Almalki, Zoe McKeon-Shaw, Elena Budini and Mihajlo Milenkovic share their findings with you:
Students of Harbord, we are all tired from the pandemic and need a place to unwind right? After the nightmare that is the virus, I would suggest visiting Arcade Drop-in located at 260 Augusta Avenue, a wonderful place with a wide assortment of programs and activities for you. They provide food for you, have a lounge room with a pool table where you can relax and chat with other people from around the community and a wonderful computer lab to play some games or do homework on. No need to register, but you do have to meet with the staff first, going over rules and such for your first time there. If you need more help for mental health, they got you covered for that! The Arcade Drop-in also provides workshops and counseling for those who are struggling with depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. Their counseling is now on over the phone or by email due to Covid, but do not worry, you can visit the Arcade once this is all over. For more information, please contact email@example.com or 416-925-2103 ex 2251.
Waterfront Neighbourhood Center
Waterfront Neighbourhood Community Center offers a program called Get Jobs for Youth (GJY). They help people who need a job and they don’t know where to start. But because of Covid 19 they need to teach online with virtual programming. They help youth with writing resumes and cover letters, job hunting, interview prep and more. If you want to register call the number: 416.392.1509 for more info.
Looking for academic support? Look no more, Brainfuse is here to help.
It would be helpful to get extra help and support when it comes to doing homework, studying, completing school assignments, or maybe even language learning. Brainfuse is an eLearning platform offering online homework help with professional tutors. Tutors are available to help with Math, Reading, Science, Social Studies, History, Geography, and Language Arts for students in grades K-12. French-speaking tutors are available. To use this service, you’ll need a valid Toronto library card. You can access it from any Toronto public library computer or at home. This resource is fully online so it hasn’t really been affected by the COVID lockdown. Brainfuse is still running at its regular times: 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm, excluding holidays when the library is closed.
Regent Park Community Health Centre
The teenage years can be a challenging time. It's not uncommon for teenageers to struggle with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and low self esteem. Regent Park Community Health Centre (RPCHC) offers a wide variety of supports for youth. The Pathways to Education program helps youth living in Regent Park & Moss Park to successfully complete high school, and continue on to post-secondary programs. Other programs such as youth health service, youth health access project, youth resources, and volunteer opportunities are also offered. RPCHC also has countless health services such as the diabetes health program, dental services, nutrition services, and many more. For Harbord Collegiate students who feel uncomfortable going to their family doctor or don’t have one, RPCHC is a safe and welcoming environment. Numerous employability skills can be gained from being there such as: team work, motivation, initiative, and leadership. RPCHC is located at 465 Dundas Street East and is in close proximity to Harbord Collegiate Institute so Harbord students have easy access. As of December 1st RPCHC is open to the public Monday to Friday from 9:30 am - 4:30 pm except on Tuesdays when it opens at 12:00 pm.
Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club
The Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club offers a variety of programs and services for youth, specifically in the evenings. If you are a Harbord student or a student in general, this club offers a lot of opportunities to build employability skills. You can benefit from the resume writing program they offer. In addition, you get mentoring skills while exchanging ideas and experiences, related to career opportunities, with other participants. As a Harbord student, you get the chance to do your community hours at this club. Like most of us being affected by the pandemic, the Kiwanis Club has been affected as well. However, they still offer support for the youth. If interested, the virtual programs that run on Tuesdays and Thursdays help support social justice issues that relate to anti-racism, LGBTQ, etc. More importantly, if you need support with mental-health and wellness, the Flex Your Head program is there for you. These are the contacts for the virtuals programs mentioned above: Sheilana Dela Cruz (Kids For Change: Social Justice) and Yasin Osman (Flex Your Head). If you are interested in exploring the pre-employment opportunities, contact them at 416-925-2243 ext.28. The Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club is located at 101 Spruce St, near Regent Park
St Alban’s Boys & Girls Club
If you are ever dealing with loneliness and depression a Boys and Girls Club like St Albans is the way to go. It offers great programs that make everyone feel included, they're literally anything for anyone. I know the pain of school and assignments, but this is a place to get rid of stress.This organization offers so many programs like swimming, basketball, cooking, summer camps and more. This is the place where I met a lot of friends and I’m still friends with them to this day. Most programs at St Alban’s have been cancelled during COVID, but they are still offering their tutoring program, Raise the Grade, virtually. If I have convinced you by now which I probably did, check it out at 843 Palmerston Ave located by Vermont Square.