With the help of funding from the CPRA Youth Employment Experience Program, Violence Prevention Avalon East was able to hire Ocean Jordan as a Recreation Program Outreach Coordinator. Ocean’s job involves going to summer camps and programs for youth where she has presented on violence prevention and incorporated tactics such as healthy relationship bingos, scavenger hunts, trivia events, and TikToks to spread messages about violence prevention.
“With TikTok, it’s an easy way to spread the word because there are so many people on TikTok. For those types, of people who don’t want to go home and talk about it, and don’t want to call, they can just go through TikTok to get information about violence prevention,” says Ocean. The presentations that Ocean creates send messages about how “there are resources for everyone” to get help and that “violence and abuse can happen to anyone, it doesn’t matter how old you are”.
According to Ocean’s mentor Valerie “Our messages are how to prevent violence, how not to be a bystander, who to go to for support if it’s happening to you, and that you’re not alone.”
In terms of skills-building, presenting and directing such activities in front of a large group of people made Ocean uncomfortable at first but eventually helped her gain confidence in herself. As Ocean says “I did a healthy relationship bingo at the friendship centre and it was with a bunch of kids and I had to speak in front of everyone because it was a bingo and I didn’t really feel comfortable with it. However, going through such experiences that were a little uncomfortable has helped me become more confident and willing to take on such challenges.”
“Getting out in the community is helping Ocean feel more comfortable with what she knows and what she’s experienced in her own life, and that she can certainly help others so it’s building those habits,” says Valerie. “It’s been a really good experience, and we’re delighted to have Ocean with us. Ocean brings a lot to the table and you can really see her coming out of her shell from the time she began until now.”
Ocean also notes that the entire experience has helped her learn how to schedule and organize presentations and how to speak in front of large groups of kids and get them engaged in an activity. These activities have created a fun way for kids across the Avalon East area to learn about serious subjects that are important for them to know to prevent violence against themselves or to help somebody they know.