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LINC Youth Centre in Courtenay welcoming everybody

Many Comox Valley youth have made the LINC Youth Centre a second home.
Now the public will have a chance to see for themselves what makes this facility such a special place.
On Monday, March 14 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., the LINC will host an open house for anyone interested in learning more about the facility and its programs.
Kathy Collins, the LINC’s youth services co-ordinator, says the open house will be about more than checking out the games room and indoor skateboard park.
“Many people don’t realize the amount of outreach we do with local youth,” notes Collins. “We offer employment assistance and specialized training. We also look for opportunities to engage youth with other organizations and the community at large.
"This open house will be a chance for some of our partners to talk about some of the amazing opportunities available here.”
These project partners include Bladerunners, an organization that links contractors, trades people and the construction sector with youth, as well as the Funemployment Office, a free job search resource for youth aged 15 to 24.
Tailored training is also available through the Community Access Portal, or CAP program. This internet and digital media program provides hands-on experience and skills that are in great demand, not only with youth, but in the job market.
Other presenters will include School District 71, discussing the new Community Intervention Program, and the LINC Youth Council detailing its activities at the youth centre and in the community.
The open house will also be a chance to learn about the LINC’s new hot meal program. Thanks to a startup grant from Chances, youth have enjoyed a free cooked meal every Saturday night since January.
Collins notes the LINC has become a model for other youth centres on Vancouver Island.
“We’ve had calls from facilities in Nanaimo and Victoria wanting to talk about what we’ve achieved here. We’ve been steadily building on our programs and our relationships with youth and other organizations over the last few years, and I think we’re definitely filling a need in the Comox Valley.”
The public is invited to provide feedback and suggestions for future programs, adds Collins. “We’re always looking for input — we’d love for people to share any ideas they have for things we can offer or improve on.”
The LINC is on the corner of the Old Island Highway and Ryan Road in Courtenay. The open house will be held in conjunction with the Courtenay Recreational Association’s annual general meeting. For more information on the open house, call the LINC at 250-334-8138, extension 233, or visit www.courtenay.ca.
— LINC Youth Centre

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