First West’s gift for pride, diversity
Miriam Halpenny - Jul 14, 2020 - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed

The Bridge Youth & Family Services has received $10,000 from the First West Foundation to support LGBTQIA2S+ youth in the community.

The grant will go towards the Etcetera program which provides LGBTQIA2S+ youth between the ages of 11 and 18 with a safe environment to meet peers.

The group focuses on inclusion, belonging, engagement, connection, leadership, fun, learning and confidence. The program consists of 44 weekly sessions and three special events each year. The marginalization of LGBTQIA2S+ people puts them at an increased risk of suicide, substance abuse, homelessness, isolation and depression.

Etcetera offers acceptance and support which tackles these known risks and positively impacts the participants self esteem, health and well-being. The program aims to encourage pride and diversity in the city of Kelowna.

“The connection that my child has found with the Etcetera group has been amazing. He looks forward to attending every week. The connections have led to a couple good friendships, on both his and my part – parents. Being heard, seen and openly accepted without judgement has been monumental for him,” says the parent of an Etcetera youth.

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