18 Nov Youth Central Alumni Profile: Shawna Daya
To mark this milestone Youth Central is profiling 25 of its alumni throughout the years. Youth Central’s Youth Are Awesome (YAA) program is helping out by interviewing and profiling the alumni. This article is written by Talia Santarossa, one of the YAA junior editors.
The next Youth Central alumnus to be highlighted is Shawna Daya, who was involved with Youth Central through her high school, Discovering Choices, from 2009-2012. It was through Discovering Choices’ Youth Council that she was involved in various initiatives organized through Youth Central.
Shawna’s more notable experiences volunteering and working with Youth Central include being recognized by the YODA (Youth of Distinction Awards), painting a mural at a church, and speaking at the Youth Central Annual General Meeting. She recalls her involvement as a founding member of Discovering Choices’ Youth Council as, “taking a bunch of kids and pulling them into something, and focusing their energy on doing something good.”
Shawna is attending Douglas College in New Westminster, BC, working toward an Associate of Arts Degree, majoring in Psychology. She hopes to complete it her degree in 2018 and then work towards a Bachelor’s Degree. Even more impressive, Shawna is completing her degree while raising her four children, who are eight-years-old, six-years-old, four-years-old, and eight-weeks-old, respectively.
She credits her work with Discovering Choices’ Youth Council, and by extension Youth Central, with helping her to gain confidence. “I was kind of distant, not really involved in a community of any sort, and [volunteering] helped me build a community […] and become part of somethi
ng bigger, rather than just staying on the outside. It was a moment of ‘Oh, what’s one person going to do?’ until you join any team and see how fulfilling it is.”
Finally, Shawna would like to leave current and future Youth Central volunteers with these wise words:
“Get involved with as many activities as you can, because when you’re young, you have a lot more time to devote to it, and each experience with Youth Central will play a massive role in the rest of your life; meeting all of these people put me on a good path and helped guide me in the right direction, and are still part of my life today.”