My name is Ally Smith and I am a Child & Youth Worker, the Creator of Matters, and Founder of Free Spirits Empowerment Advocacy. Thank you so much for taking the time to see and read what Matters, Free Spirits, and I are all about.
I am a recent Child and Youth Worker graduate, having studied at George Brown College in Toronto, and Mohawk College in Hamilton. My first internship was close to home, at the W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind in Brantford ON. The connections made with staff and students are lasting ones. I can’t tell you how much I learned, and how the students themselves taught me more about resiliency, optimism, and perseverance than any textbook or professor ever could. My last internship was recently at Grand River Hospital’s Child and Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric unit in Kitchener Ontario. Connecting with children and youth at some of their most vulnerable times, seeing smiles, strengths, and resiliency surge through, left me with a whole lot of amazing and wonderful people that I will never ever forget, as well as lessons in perspective. We can never know the battles that others are facing by only noticing their actions, their expressions, or their words. Take time to take a step back, and to just be kind. It’s more powerful than you’d ever know.
The past few years have made me realize that my individual gifts, strengths, and interests have a place and a purpose in this world, be it close to home or away. As I learn more about the system and the way it functions, particularly for young people, I am repeatedly inspired to make changes and create possibilities for people of all ages and abilities, and from all circumstances and walks of life, so that they too, may also realize their potential, foster their strengths, and live life to the fullest.
My husband, a musician and music teacher who is also a Developmental Service Worker, and I, have dreams of one day creating a space in our community where we can offer free therapeutic arts and music based programs, life skills classes, workshops and more. We aim to make sure that people are inspired and encouraged to foster their strengths and passions and live their dreams. Individual empowerment is the first step to working together to create healthy and productive communities. Collaborating with local organizations, businesses and initiatives, we hope to link people to the supports they need to create positive, productive, and inclusive spaces and initiatives for the entire community and beyond.
As I continue my studies in nursing and work towards creating the Free Spirits space, I hope to connect with and offer support to young people and families via the Matters online magazine and forum. Please have a look at my resume and let me know if I can be of assistance to you, your family, or your business.
Join us by linking up as a resource, contributor or sponsor and together, we can begin making a difference right now.
Meet Chris Morrison. A contributor and advocate……
We are honoured to have Chris as a contributor and resource, to link others who may have experienced sexual trauma at the hands of an abuser to available support and resources. Chris speaks publicly about his past, and is an advocate and voice regarding matters related to sexual abuse and homophobia, in order that he may inspire others to come forward and break their own silences.
Please read more about Chris’s life story in his own words, in Mentors in Motion, or contact him directly at http://firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/truthforhealing/
What matters to you, matters to us. Without your questions, comments, feedback, insights and ideas, Matters just doesn’t make sense. Please send any of the above using our contact form and let’s keep the conversations going…