Shaped by elegance, inspiration and courage, the 4th annual Access Gala was once again a success. Held at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver Theatre, the most exquisite venue in the Tri-Cities, Access created an enlightening evening by helping guests understand the importance of caring for and supporting our youth.
Access provides after-hours outreach programs for youth aged 12 to 23 years old, who are reluctant or unable to access traditional services. Their award-winning program, Project Reach Out, is a multi-service mobile drop-in bus that meets youth wherever they are at. This hands-on outreach program provides a comfortable space for youth to feel safe and help them build trust. I am disappointed that this program is a growing success as it means that our kids don’t experience the safe place that they deserve, they don’t feel heard and they are more and more vulnerable.
The Access annual gala usually doesn’t leave many dry eyes as they share the amazing testimonials of juveniles who’ve required support and who find their way to making positive changes in their lives. But not this time! This year’s Gala highlighted 2 talented young-artists, Frankie Cena who has a blooming career in singing and acting and Tasha Receno, a young poet who mesmerized us with her public speaking abilities and the depth of her words.
Three of my very good friends are on the board of Access Youth Outreach Services and with the many familiar faces from the community, this evening was also filled with wonderful conversations, powerful interactions and generous contributions.