A Truly Individualized Program, Tailored for Each Specific Person
We, at the BCRC, would like to present our upcoming program: House of Kings and Queens. Due to an interview with the chief coordinator of the program, Shimmon Hutchinson, we now have an inside view of this wonderful, one-of-a-kind program. The “Kings and Queens” program seeks to explore a new avenue that has not been used by any past programs for “at-risk” youth. This is a truly individualized program, tailored for each specific person. As Mr. Hutchinson has stated, “the strength of the program is the strength of the individual.”
Kings and Queens provides children with role models that are closer to their value system and community, as well as tailor these youth to become role models and mentors in their own community. In fact, Hutchinson said that, “the main objectives inside of the program are to build on a lot of the micro skills with kids to be able to help them affect change in their community.” This will be done by giving the children and youth a sense of empowerment.
This program also goes well beyond the school system and plans to give aid to the families as well. A portion of the program will also go towards strengthening services and institutions. According to Hutchinson, “it’s this whole concept that because the kids are improving community services through the acquisition of skills they have inside the group then it’s improving the services that we use to recommend to the families, so it’s this very cyclical, strengthening pattern that we’re hoping to create.”
The Kings and Queens will be a great benefit to the Montreal community. It would “increase connection to services, increase connection to schools, lower dropout rates, improve grades, improve the chances of youth continuing to graduate studies—post-graduate studies or Cegep.” However, while it would be beneficial to the community, the most important aspect of the program is making a change with the individual. According to Hutchinson, “There’s so many things that I think it will improve, but I think it would really depend upon the individual, who is kind of telling me what they want, what they need.”
When asked where he saw this program going in the future Mr. Hutchinson declared that his long-term goals “would be if this was something that could be run in all of the schools, engaging as many organizations as it possibly can, having everyone on board so as if we are almost creating like a common culture and a common ideology to be able to help children, I think that in itself would be so powerful, if everyone is working together.”
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