It’s not hard to see why Ayak is such a young star. Her bright smile and inviting personality gives a glimpse into the heart of a wonderful girl who is thriving, thanks to growing up in a community surrounded by love and care.
Ayak was about 9 when she started attending programming at the Banff Avenue Community House (BACH) and has touched many areas over the years. From volunteering to employment to participating in community events, her favourite pastime so far has been a program called “Youth Group” and it’s where she’s made a lot of memories. “We were all involved!” Ayak says. “Once you’re in Youth Group you feel like a grown-up and we did such cool things!” Activities in Youth Group involve outings, supporting the community at different events, talking on behalf of the Banff-Ledbury neighbours, developing cooking skills and more!
Community generosity has meant that programming at BACH can continue helping youth achieve their personal goals, giving them the opportunity to develop their confidence in life, work and community building.
In addition to youth programming, Ayak has also benefited from academic support services that are heavily reliant on donor dollars. While she loves math now, her 11-year-old self didn’t share quite the same feelings. Ayak had trouble getting the hang of multiplication and division and found herself falling behind. Through one-on-one tutoring at BACH she was able to build the foundation she needed to be successful with her studies, even getting early acceptance to her chosen University!
Banff Avenue Community House is proud to be able to support community youth pursuing a higher education with a $1,500 bursary opportunity. Donor support gives BACH the ability to present 3 students with this award, providing them the chance to offset the costs of their studies and cover things like textbooks, residence, and school-related expenses.
As the summer season begins, Ayak is looking forward to spending time in her old neighbourhood as she prepares to continue towards her bright future. She’s looking forward to working this summer at the Community House to save more money for her studies as well as seeing the familiar faces in the community who all know her by name.
Ayak has watched the children and youth in her neighbourhood grow up alongside her, graduate and get involved in the community in meaningful ways. “It’s been cool to see and experience the changes,” she says. Those who know Ayak know first-hand what it’s like to watch someone grow and blossom – they’re beaming with pride for all that Ayak has achieved and the progress she’s made over years as part of the Banff Avenue community.