Latisha is sixteen. She lives in Côte-des-Neiges, but she goes to school in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce so she knows a lot of people in the neighborhood. It is her fourth summer as a park animator!
For her, this work is an opportunity to give back to her community : «I live here and I have always wanted to give back to this community. This job is my dream job, this is something I always wanted to do. When I got this job for the first time, at 13, I was so happy !».
The fact that Latisha is almost the same age as the youth that she works with allows her to create links more easily : «We understand each other. We are from the same generation! In any situation, they are free and open to come talk to me.». At the end, she has a positive influence working with these youth : «I want them to have a better surrounding! I think that I can be that role model showing them the importance of supporting others and being there when people need you.»
Michael is a park animator for a second time this year. He lives in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce since he’s a kid.
His passion is doing sports with the youth : « What they need the most is people to have fun with and that can understand them at the same time. ». For him, sport allows to meet new people and It’s an excellent tool for communication too : « Each Friday, I give boxing courses for free at Georges St-Pierre park. […] This activity gives them the opportunity to recognize their strengths and their weakenesses while experiencing the community in their neighborhood. »
Ariana is twenty years old. It is her first summer as a park animator.
She was born in Romania and she came here in Montreal at the age of eight. She lives in
Notre-Dame-de-grâce since two years now and she really loves the neighborhood : « Beeing a person who wasn’t born here, I like the fact that I can meet people from different cultures everyday ! ».
Helping others is for Ariana extremely important. She loves taking care of the children : « Since the age of fifteen, I started to give soccer courses to the little ones and even to teenagers of my age at that time at NDG Sport Center. ».
What I like the most about this job is the opportunity to give smile to the youth we meet : « It’s amazing to add joy in their everyday life! For me, It’s an accomplishment. […] I had difficult moments Myself and when I meet someone who got problems, I think It’s really important that this person can have acces to someone like me to help ! »
Javal is sixteen. He lives in NDG since the age of six so he knows the neighborhood really well. He works as a park animator this summer for the first time.
What Javal appreciates the most about this job is simply the chance to bring kids together and play with them. At the same time, he’s convinced that working with youth help them to grow as individuals : « We can teach them how to be responsible and how to communicate with others while having fun ! ».