Iron Sharpens Iron Youth and Young Adults Program

The Cause

Iron Sharpens Iron is designed to strengthen skills for at risk youth and young people aged 12 to 24 years. According to supported research from Mental Health Canada, mental health issues first develop during adolescence or early adulthood (aged 12 to 24).The program will specifically empower, support and guide individuals from this age group on a journey of self-discovery to reveal their true purpose and mission in life, while promoting overall wellness. Its main purpose is to sharpen young minds and equip them with tools that will enable them to navigate through life’s challenges with confidence and integrity. It centers on a young person’s right to equality, dignity and opportunity regardless of race, background, gender, culture, religion or age. Participants will benefit from group activities, grass roots experiential learning and individualized support. Each program will address 4 key aspects of the individual, namely their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Below are the programs involved, and what they consist of:
1. Girls and Boys Sharing Circles
• Weekly group sessions for individuals aged 12-19
• Facilitator led speaking and listening sessions
• Focused creative activities
• Key aspects addressed: Mental/ Emotional/Spiritual/Physical.
2. Step Up Stepping Youth
• Youth led program for individuals aged 12-19
• Consists of active group involvement in decision making, open communication, creative art, journaling and program events
• Key aspects addressed: Mental/ Physical/ Spiritual/ Emotional.
• Leadership Skill building
3. Building a Power House
• Character building group sessions for individuals aged 18-24
• Consists of individualized one-on- one sessions to help the individual delve deeper into their personal experiences and how each experience has shaped their current world view and character
• Key aspects addressed: Mental/ Spiritual/ Emotional/physical
• Leadership skills building
Funds from grant would be used to fund facilitators, art supplies, journals, event planning supplies, stationary and games.

Who Will it Benefit?

Girls and Boys Sharing Circles: This will focus on individuals aged 12-19. These will be structured group sessions or activities to promote healthy personal development, while building and maintaining authentic connections with others. Each 3-hour weekly session will be led by a facilitator and involve individuals taking turns to express themselves either vocally or through creative activities. Members of each group would be categorized by age groups and/or special needs.
Step up Stepping: This will focus on individuals aged 12-19. It will involve a variety of interactive activities to engage the individual on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. These activities will be led and facilitated by a youth and supported by an adult leader. Activities will involve open communication, decision making tools, writing and journaling sessions, coordinated games, program events and community functions. It will be designed to build and strengthen confidence, a strong sense of connection to cultural and spiritual identity, and leadership skills.
Building a Spiritual House: An individualized character building program focused on individuals aged 18-24. This will conceptualize the idea of building a “house” in relation to an individual’s identity as a whole. The house symbolizes the participants’ character and what it is comprised of, such as “rooms” in the house. The program will emphasize and utilize various tools required to rebuild the characters or “houses” of at risk youth with unstable backgrounds.

Groups will incorporate cultural and spiritual connections to develop a strong sense of self. They’ll also include physical, mental and emotional activities to strengthen overall wellness.

The ripple effect from all programs would be equipping young people with tools and skills to become better leaders, community members and advocates in their schools, communities and families. The program will also promote collaborations with other professionals and youth organizations within the community.