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A Message from Brianna Ratzlaff

Dear Family and Friends,

I wanted to write this short letter to share about an amazing opportunity to make a difference in young lives that I am starting and give you the chance to be a part of this too!

The start of my story that my mind always seems to resort to is when I was 13 years old. At that time, I remember I began to teach myself how to paint and write poetry. You'd often find me spending lots of time alone, either kept up in my bedroom or outside roaming around on the acreage somewhere. Little did I know that was the beginning of depression for me, and the long battles I had ahead. I've been very vocal about mental health and my story; not only in my previous work with Canadian Mental Health Association but in my personal life as well. My personal experiences empower me to intentionally create dialogue and a safe space to openly talk about these things without shame, stigmatization, or prejudice. One of my biggest pitfalls I faced as a youth was lacking the emotional support and mentorship that I needed to not only

overcome adversities but to believe in myself. Over time, I began to develop the mindset that drove me to become passionate about the needs of others and youth:

"I don't want anyone to have to go through what I did.”

Now, I have the opportunity to give back to the vulnerable and marginalized youth of Edmonton with my gifts, strengths, and experience, collaborating with the love of God to help prevent them from experiencing a place of feeling utterly alone in their struggles and life.

I've said for years now that I've wanted to work with youth because I know how difficult it can be in those years to navigate through the challenges of life, whatever they may be. The main Youth Centre I will be working at is The Cellar. It offers a place to be accepted and loved, while providing activities and endless recreational opportunities for interests and talents far and wide. With my proficiency and passion for art, I know it will be a great asset that can be utilized to bring hope to the struggling lives of the youth who attend.

As I begin this journey, I know that I need the love and support of others to help me make the greatest impact. To embark on this new adventure alongside me, I ask for your loving prayers and well wishes. It is not without others like you and the love of God that I will be able to do this life-changing work. Another way to support me in this experience is to partner with me financially to support the programs I will work in. My goal is to raise $2,500 / month so that I can work 32 hours a week helping the youth in our community. I thank you personally, with humility, for taking the time to read about this great opportunity and considering partnering with me in any way you can. Your support and love touch my heart, and I cannot show my appreciation enough.

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you." John 13:34 NKJV

Sincerely with love,

Brianna Ratzlaff

Partner with Brianna Ratzlaff, and give a gift HERE. Be sure to select that you want your donation to go to "Youth Programming by Brianna Ratzlaff".


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