On December 4th, 2015, in advance of our Breakthrough group’s first Breakthrough Hunger event, participant and youth leader, Stephanie Rich was interviewed by the Cape Breton Post. Stephanie is a former Youth Peer participant and continues to be a valued member of the Breakthrough group.
From the article:
The Sydney resident was struggling in school when she first joined Youth Peer at age 12. It offered her tutoring and mentoring support, as well as exposure to art programs.
“Math was extremely hard, and English, I couldn’t write an essay,” Rich said. “Youth Peer helped me through everything.”
Seven years later, and still involved with Breakthrough, Rich is a graduate of Memorial High where she received her electrical trade.
“I was dedicated to it. I loved it. It’s family there,” Rich said of Breakthrough. “If it wasn’t for Youth Peer, I probably wouldn’t have taken a trade or anything like that. We consider ourselves family. The first day there, you’re welcomed.”
In particular, Rich noted the assistance that EPIC founder Barry Waldman offered as she sought out employment.
She believes the programs have resulted in participants finding themselves in much improved circumstances. “They would probably be on a worse path than what they were, I think Breakthrough guides them,” Rich said.
Delores Feltmate, a co-director with the program, noted that Breakthrough is geared at high-risk young adults aged 18-30, many of whom have faced challenges such as mental health issues, homelessness, addiction and poverty. “They meet together once a week as a support group and once again to serve in the community,” Feltmate said. “They support each other through tough times, turn to each other, help each other cope, and they’re doing very, very well.”
Thank you, Stephanie, for once again putting yourself out there for others.
The dinner that the group planned and worked toward for months was a huge success. Read about it on our Breakthrough page here.