Have you ever noticed a negative quality about yourself, and when you dig deeper, you realize it was influenced by childhood trauma? Then, at last, it all makes sense, right? Maybe this is true for you, or at least I know it's true for me!
After my parents divorced, I had to obtain a significant amount of independence as an eight-year-old little girl. There were periods when I was separated from my mother and younger brother and had to live with my aunt. She was also occupied with her other two children. We were homeless at one point and bounced around my two aunt's houses, trying not to overstay our welcome. My father was inconsistent in my life after the divorce and was not a positive, supportive figure. There were years I would go without seeing him, and often I was left wondering if I wasn't good enough for him to want to stick around.
Looking back at my childhood, I recognize the trauma I experienced and how it shaped my thoughts, behaviours, and relationships in adult life. My mother tried her best to be present when she could, and my father was merely inconsistent. As a result, I ponder what would have been different if someone else had reached out—an attentive mentor, an adult figure, or anyone who would let me feel secure, safe, and comfortable.
As an adult, I now thrive on being that mentor I never had. I am currently studying social work at MacEwan University. I had the immense privilege of having my field practicum at the non-profit organization Youth Unlimited. I was blessed with an opportunity to join the team as a staff and continue to work with youth ages 10-17 at the MillWoods Rec Centre!
I help create a space for youth to be themselves, meet new friends, and even hold deeper mentoring relationships like I wish I had growing up. It fills me up to watch youth grow into feeling comfortable enough to open up, where they are the ones initiating a conversation with me because they genuinely want to make time out of their day to talk. It still amazes me how just one sandwich can impact a youth or how much it means to sit down next to them.
I invite you to join me on this amazing and meaningful journey! Because we are a non-profit organization, a substantial amount of our funding comes from people like yourself! Therefore, One significant way you can get involved is by helping out financially. But what if you want to get involved with youth on a more interactive level? There are always volunteer opportunities at Youth Unlimited. Lastly, prayer is also greatly appreciated. Praying for the youth can be very impactful as you create that conversation with God and keep us in your thoughts.
I would love to reach out to you soon and have a conversation about finding ways you can get involved with this fantastic opportunity and answer any questions you may have! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter. I acknowledge your willingness and curiosity to continue reading until the end. I greatly appreciate you, and we will chat soon!
Partner with Abigail Sooknarine, and give a gift HERE. Be sure to select that you want your donation to go to "Youth Programming by Abigail Sooknarine".