Sandis Twoyoungmen has done a lot for his community, and only plans to continue improving it for other youth. Twoyoungmen is from Morley, AB, and works with Canada Bridges, a nonprofit organization based on prioritizing youth, youth support, and youth action.
“We’ve been doing some cool programs here [Morley], doing as much as we can to support the youth in my community to get the resources they need for filming, or music, or anything that they would like to tackle themselves,” said Twoyoungmen.
“We just kind of provide that supportive audience or that supportive mentor.”
Twoyoungmen was motivated to pursue this career based on his own experiences growing up and what he wished could be offered to him when he was younger.
As he got older and realized he had the opportunity to do all the stuff he wanted, he decided to go out and provided the community with “a leader that I wish I had.”
“I’m also here with other champions in my community that also do work for our community, and so we do the work that we wish we had when we were young, so we provide that to our community and our new generation of youth,” said Twoyoungmen.
When it comes to his education and training journey, Twoyoungmen says he is still “discovering” what’s out there and isn’t sure if he wants to commit to a degree or anything like that yet in case it’s something he doesn’t want.
Instead, he is mostly looking at what his community needs whether that be having more community members in the band office or having a highly trained firefighter for his community.
“I don’t know, just a lot of things come in my head and I’m still figuring it out. Maybe I’ll figure it out really soon, hopefully,” said Twoyoungmen.
Even though Twoyoungmen has done incredible work for his community and for himself, he himself has been through many obstacles including how he grew up.
He says growing up, his family wasn’t fortunate from the start and remembers being homeless in the reserve, bouncing from house to house to “just get through the night” or to “make ends meet.”
“I think, overcoming them was just having that support from friends, family, and always checking in on you and saying that if you need anything, just let me know. And that they provide a surprise,” said Twoyoungmen.
“It was just most of the people that are in my life that helped me get through this obstacle.”
And for people thinking of leaving their community to pursuit school or a career, he says because urban life and reserve life are two different worlds, be prepared for major changes and don’t let being uncomfortable discourage whatever you’re doing.
Twoyoungmen says growing is part of being uncomfortable, and based on his experiences he always had to find a sense of courage to keep pushing.
“My advice is just to build your community in urban life, find your friend group, and then just let it grow like a tree. And so wherever you are in the city, you can just find that comfort of, I may be away from home, but this is also my second home.”
Special thanks to Jasmine Kabatay for authoring this blog post.
Future Pathways Fireside Chats are a project of TakingITGlobal's Connected North Program.
Funding is generously provided by the RBC Foundation in support of RBC Future Launch, and the Government of Canada's Supports for Student Learning program.