There is a new addition to the youth workers at Riverside; Ms. Jordyn Sinkie is a Health Promotion Facilitator for SHARE Family and Community Services, has recently joined Riverside to replace Ms. Karen O’Brien, who retired in June 2019. Sinkie works alongside Ms. Monica Brochu to run the youth groups. They provide information about substance use and do presentations for students, parents and teachers, and have one-on-one meetings with students while providing a welcoming judgment-free space.

“Riverside has been gracious in providing space for me to have an office and be a part of the school environment,” said Sinkie. She has been working with youth since the end of October 2019. Sinkie started her career as a Health Promotion Facilitator and is continuing to learn more about the program. Before coming to Riverside, Sinkie worked with children under 13 and their families through the SHARE program in the Tri-Cities.

“I have always loved working with younger kids and teens. I believe that youth have so much to offer in supporting one another through the years of young adulthood,” said Sinkie. She is inspired by this career because she enjoys supporting youth in their journey of wellness, and helping teens shape their future.

Mental Health issues and substance use is a huge issue for young people in this generation. 60 percent of drug users in Canada are between the ages of 15-24. Youth who use substances are more likely to develop mental health problems such as, short term memory loss, panic attacks, depression, and more, according to Riverside’s youth worker program works hard to alleviate some of these issues.

Sinkie’s role is providing resources and information for youth who are substance affected, as well as referrals relating to substance use. Brochu works for the school district and handles more everyday support; whereas, Sinkie works through the school district and provides more specific support; she is available on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays for drop-ins during breaks, lunch, and after school.