The YMCA is about to become even more accessible to youth in the area thanks to a new initiative that will give teens a safe ride home at night.
“It’s a collaboration between Schools Plus and the YMCA to hire CHAD to come to the YMCA at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays and drive those kids that need a drive home to get them close to their destination,” said youth director of the Pictou County YMCA Jacob Baldwin.
He said in the past some youth would walk.
“We’ve had kids that would walk 45 minutes to an hour to get home at night which obviously we don’t want,” he said. “Every kid should have the right to get to the YMCA, to be active, to be involved in a leadership program and then get home safely.”
He hopes that it’s something that may increase the student involvement.
Previously Baldwin was able to work with the Chignecto Regional School Board to arrange for students to be dropped off at the YMCA straight from school to take advantage of programs such as youth leadership or basketball or just to hang out in the youth room.
This has worked well, but he believes by adding the ride home, it will increase participation even more.
“I think over the next year you’ll see more and more kids start to use it. It’s just a matter of getting the youth here to see what they can do at the Y,” he said.
Brayden Ross, a Grade 10 student at North Nova Education Centre, believes that a busing system to and from the Wellness Centre will be beneficial.
“If there were a bus home? It would be extremely useful,” said Ross, who typically has to be picked up after his daily workouts by his parents. He feels that the system would make the amenities that the YMCA offers much more accessible to students.
Fellow classmate Josh Jota agreed with Ross, adding that it would be convenient and helpful to his family to have an alternate form of transportation available.