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Youth embracing a community (Staff Perspective)

In the summer of 2021 a 17 y/o non-binary Asian youth living in the Scarborough area was recommended by one of the therapists who works in the YWHO/Lumenus Community Services Counselling program to come and visit The Studio Youth Drop-In, which was operating entirely on-line at the time. They were apprehensive about coming at first but eventually decided to join one of our online sessions. They quickly found a home there, as the other youth took them right off the bat, their ready sense of humour being a welcome addition to the space. They attended regularly for a while, but eventually began to tire of the online format as so many other youth have over the pandemic, and their attendance lessened. Fortunately, when Lumenus Community Services was able to re-open The Studio for in-person services again in the spring of 2022, this youth became excited about coming to The Studio programming again. The Tuesday Queer Arts & Crafts Night program has been one of their favourite in-person Studio programs, as they are able to engage their already well-honed artistic skills, but now in an environment that feels much more affirming to their identity than their school-based environment. They were also very excited to join The Studio’s Here Be Dragons Tabletop RPG program in-person too. This youth has since become an important part of The Studio community and has developed a close-knit friend group of fellow Studio attendees that hangs out together and stays in touch, even outside of Studio hours.

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