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Kae-lee Carmichael is a 13-year-old with a bright future.
The Grade 8 student at Moncton’s Edith Cavell has had her share of ups and downs, including facing school suspensions in past years, but has turned her life around, thanks in part to the YMCA’s Alternative Suspension program.
Working in conjunction with school districts and with the strong support of the Medavie Health Foundation, the Alternative Suspension program helps youth during their suspension from school as well as their reintegration into the classroom by promoting personal development and transforming the individual’s time away into a more positive experience. The program focuses on the negative behaviour that leads to the suspension, which can be related to bullying, low self-esteem, anxiety from stress or other mental health issues.
“The program really helped Kae-lee develop her potential,” says Chantale Bourque, Youth Worker at the YMCA. “We work one-on-one with participants, encouraging them to share their story while providing the skills to cope in tough times. Alternative Suspension really empowers youth by helping them to gain a new perspective, learn to accept help and new relationships, and realize they are not alone. It’s all about building mental resiliency and healthy behaviours—and it works!”