Evon had big dreams for grade 7. Finally getting to middle school where you can play sports. Unfortunately, Evon started grade 7 the fall of 2019 when strike action halted all extra curricular activities. Normally, just a blip in a school career, the strike ended just in time for the pandemic to begin. Eighteen months of virtual or limited in-person classes and definitely no sports.
Evon enters grade 9; an adventure – new school, new opportunities for friends, and a bit of fear for being in a large school as the youngest. Academic pressures are real. Students do better academically when they are involved in activities outside of the classroom. The 18 months of the pandemic were a more significant percentage of life for a young person than for an adult. While the pandemic has affected everyone, there is a great question of how it will impact young people like Evon for years to come. The Class of 2025 really missed out on middle school.
Connecting with grade 9s like Evon is a strategic part of outreach each year at The Dam. If the drop-in can become a known, safe space at the start of their high school journey, it will be a place to turn to in the good days and the bad ones.