Exploring the past for a brighter future
At 18 years old, Zuberi Attard first walked through the doors of our Youth Arcade. He thought the only thing he had to gain was a job and a little extra money. But working as a member of the Drug Education Peer Project proved to be so much more: It paved the way for his future.
As a Peer Educator, Zuberi recounted his personal challenges with substance use and his recovery to help other young people in the program. He used his experience with poverty, trauma, racism and stigma to connect the dots. And Zuberi is not alone: Other Peer Educators from both our Youth Services and Housing and Homeless Services programs use workshops to speak to young people about their experiences with drugs. The workshops not only help the youth participants, they also reinforce the Peer Educators’ ability to go beyond their own history of drug use and help them move ahead.
For Zuberi, his role as Peer Educator sparked his passion for social issues and brought out his natural talent as a facilitator. “This was the first job that inspired me. It gave me direction. I’ll never forget what it did for me.”
Today, Zuberi is studying Politics at Carleton University. “When I was applying, staff were with me every step of the way. They helped me with my applications and because of that, I received three scholarships. Being part of St. Stephen’s was one of the best parts of my life!”