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I love this group because it is a place where I feel supported"

Alanna, has been a participant of the Independent Living Centre of Waterloo Region’s Youth in Transition program for 7 years and she can’t say enough about how much she loves it! You cannot miss her smile when she starts to talk about the program and all the wonderful things it has given her; friends, independence and learning.

When Alanna started high school she wanted to find other youth who had disabilities to share her experiences with. Alanna said after the first session she loved it and knew she would come back. “It was exciting to find friends to share experiences with and relate to, because in school, kids did not want to be my friend because I had a disability."

The Youth in Transition program has been helping young people with disabilities to navigate the path from adolescence to adulthood for over 10 years. The program aims to help young adults living with disabilities blossom into independence.  Alanna is one of the many participants who has thoroughly enjoyed the program, both as a social outlet and as a place of learning.

Alanna talks about the positive effects Youth in Transition has had on her life, “I am a more confident person and I feel confident in my ability to be independent and go out on my own.” Youth Group aims to give young adults the information and skills they need to become independent. One night that stuck out in Alanna’s mind was resume writing, “this was a great night where I gained lifelong skills that helped me create my own resume.” When asked what other skills youth group has given her, Alanna says, “It has given me the ability to conquer challenges on my own, and that is a great feeling!”

What keeps Alanna coming back to Youth in Transition? “Most of all it’s the friendships I’ve built that keep me coming back. The group has become my second family.” Alanna says ILCWR’s Youth Group is such a special experience for her, “I love the group because it is place where I feel supported and surrounded by people who understand me and I can relate to. It is a group full of understanding and trust and that’s what makes it a group unlike any other.”



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