Now that the Golden Youth Centre is up and running, the Youth Action Group has found their new co-ordinator to run the centre.
Jarod Kotyk has been chosen to take over from Sara Nichols, the co-ordinator who opened the centre.
“It’s something that I’ve always been interested in, and I feel like now I’m finally ready for the job,” said Kotyk who had been volunteering with the group. “It was nice to be able to volunteer first and see what they’re working on.”
In the couple weeks that the Youth Centre has been opened there has been a lot of positive feedback from the public. The space even catches the attention of people walking down the street who stop in just to have a look.
“There’s nothing but opportunity here in this space,” said Kotyk. “My job is to be the co-ordinator. So I do have plans and ideas, but I would like to see first what the community needs and what their ideas are.”
One of the foundational principles of the Youth Centre has always been that it will be youth driven. This means that Kotyk’s job will be to take the vision of the youth, and try to make it reality.
“The committee that hired Jarod consisted of three youth and three adults. As the adults, we listened to the youth and who they thought we should hire. And they asked really tough questions,” said Nichols. “The youth led the process for who they wanted to be as their co-ordinator, and they weren’t easy. They expect a lot of the co-ordinator, and I think that Jarod rose to those challenges.”
Nichols also had some insight as to why she thought the youth were so confident in choosing Kotyk.
“He impressed the committee with his passion, and his understanding that it is youth led,” she said. “He is also very approachable and engaged, and the youth brought that up a lot.”
Right now the space is open two days a week, and as soon as the new volunteers get processed they will start making a schedule, which will include things such as jam night.
Even though they are not at full capacity yet, the community support has been overwhelming.
“We’ve had so many people from the community who have supported it and helped make all the little things possible,” said Kotyk.
“In the context of a non-profit, the fact that we’ve opened this in eight months is really fast,” said Nichols.
There is a lot of behind the scenes work going on right now as Kotyk transitions into the new job. At the moment the centre is open on Wednesday and Friday afternoon.
A full schedule is currently being worked on.