This month we visited with the Foundation grant recipients of Naskarz and talked to some of the youth that participated in the program. Naskarz is program designed to give young people from Vancouver’s downtown eastside social and educational opportunities. Constable Tim Houchen has been working with the program which is run out of the garages at the BCIT campus downtown. He introduced us to Jessie, a 17 year old single mom.
Jessie learned about the program from her friends. She told us that Naskarz was a place that youth could go to learn new skills, stay out of trouble, and it was free to participate in. Naskarz is a special program because it really engages the youth who participate and is a welcome alternative to other youth programs. Tim told us that one of the greatest things he observes, by being a mentor in the program, is seeing the kids come to the program with no sense of direction – but by giving them the chance to learn and gain new skills, they start believing in themselves and realize that they have opportunities for a positive future.
Jessie was very proud to show us the car that the kids have been working on for the past 2 years. She has personally put a lot of work into restoring the trunk and the roof. She wanted to tell the Foundation supporters,
“Thank you. You gave me something that I can be proud of”.
Jessie is about to graduate and will be returning to the program as a mentor next year.
Learn more about about the Naskarz Program.
The Vancouver Police Foundation supports programs and initiatives that fall under one of four pillars: Youth Programs, Mental Health & Addictions, Community Outreach & Engagement, and Technology & Special Equipment. You can help build a safer Vancouver by donating to the Vancouver Police Foundation.