Academic Literature

Fostering Rural Youth Wellbeing through Afterschool Programs: The Case of Fusion Youth and Technology Centre, Ingersoll, Ontario

2015

Fostering Rural Youth Wellbeing through Afterschool Programs: The Case of Fusion Youth and Technology Centre, Ingersoll, Ontario

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Rural youth face many challenges and risks to their wellbeing. One means of mitigating the risks rural youth experience, is through the provision of afterschool programs. This study reports on adult perceptions of how participation in an afterschool program-Fusion Youth and Technology Centre-affects rural youth wellbeing. A qualitative study was undertaken in which nine staff members, three program administrators, and six knowledgeable adult community members were interviewed to determine how they perceived the impact that participation in Fusion had on the wellbeing of rural youth. Three broad themes were identified that contributed to enhanced rural youth wellbeing: (1) engaging youth through an eclectic mix of programs and activities; (2) building relationships and connections; and (3) a place for youth. The results of this study were then contrasted with an earlier study that examined the perceptions of youth who participated in Fusion. There was a corroboration of all themes between studies with the exception of enhanced community relationships. The conclusion is that participating in Fusion Youth and Technology Centre contributes positively to the wellbeing of rural youth. This then raises a number of questions that rural communities need to ask themselves if they are serious about promoting the wellbeing of the youth in their communities.

Cross, H, Lauzon, A. C. (2015). Fostering rural youth wellbeing through afterschool programs: The case of Fusion Youth and Technology Centre, Ingersoll, Ontario. The Journal of Rural and Community Development, 10(1), 145-170.

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