Photo: Third year Nursing student, Brittney Hansen (right), has been hired for the summer by Executive Director of FAIR, Gail Lavery (left), to administer “The Boys Connection Project”.
Trail Family and Individual Resource (FAIR) Centre Society is the first community group to receive funding from the Teck Service Learning Internship (TeckServ)—a new student support initiative between Teck Trail Operations and Selkirk College. The FAIR project funding will support a student to conduct research on community service gaps for boys aged 7 to 14 in Trail.
Thanks to the funding, third year Nursing student, Brittney Hansen, has been hired by FAIR for the summer to administer “The Boys Connection Project”. The research project identifies community activities, such as competitive sports, individual athletics, cadets and creative arts, which currently serve the boys within this age group.
Through face-to-face and phone interviews, information will be gathered on the activities’ capacity, current usage rates and number of participants, best practices, perceived obstacles and potential solutions to participation barriers.
“It’s a great honour to be working on a project like this,” says Hansen. “The data will help us understand why the boys may or may not be participating in community activities and will help organizations providing the services shift their programming, if necessary, to better accommodate their needs. There is also potential for new organizations to form if a particular need is not being met.”
The Boys Connection Project covers the first stage of a two-stage project being implemented by FAIR. Stage two will be funded by a federal Community Action Initiative (CAI) grant that has been secured by the Kootenay Boundary Community Services Cooperative, of which FAIR is a member. Trail is one of five communities included in the CAI grant.
“Brittney’s skill set is a perfect fit and we are very pleased to have her on board,” says Executive Director of FAIR Gail Lavery. “The purpose of the entire project is to connect boys aged 7 to14, who are currently ‘falling through the cracks’ and are unconnected or socially isolated, with organized community activities. The preliminary research, data collection and promotion obtained through The Boys Connection Project will greatly benefit stage two. It will enable our future coordinator to hit the ground running and focus on working directly with the identified agencies and voluntary community organizations serving this group.”
FAIR predicts that the short-term outcomes of the project will include a creation of a wider range of friendships with other boys and, most importantly, encourage mentoring by older youth and adults coordinating the activities in the greater Trail area. Projected long-term outcomes include higher rates of school completion, lower rates of youth crime and happier, more successful lives for the boys participating.
The results of The Boys Connection Project will be posted on FAIR’s website, once complete.
Teck Trail Operations and Selkirk College have created the annual TeckServ program to provide support for Selkirk College students to undertake local community-based research projects.
The funding is intended to encourage students to work on research projects that benefit community and economic development initiatives at the community or regional level. Teck has provided $75,000 in funding to support these projects, adding to Teck Trail Operations’ ongoing commitment to Selkirk College, its students and the communities in the region.
Visit selkirk.ca/research/ric/teckservinitiative for more information on the TeckServ program.
First published on July 14, 2011