The goal of the PIER project is to open dialogue between youth, caregivers and service providers in order to prevent youth from using illicit substances. PIER information collected will help to identify gaps and barriers in communication and resources to build the capacity of communities around substance prevention.
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Check out upcoming training at 
Open registration to any interested youth!

Click photo to enlarge.

Check out upcoming training at 

Open registration to any interested youth!

Parents/Caregivers Guide to Avoid Increasing Stress Levels

We hope you have realized, exams are no easy time for teens, however some of you may not be aware of exactly how much stress a teen experiences. Here are some hints to help guide you guide your teen through exams.

  1. Everyone has different study habits. You may not think the way your teen studies is sufficient but it may be the best way for them. 
  2. Do not nag. Getting in their face about studying will increase their stress levels and potentially rebel. Encouraging words and gentle nudging are acceptable in small doses. This will make you seem caring instead of demanding. 
  3. Do not make them feel too pressured and like it is the end of the world if they do not do well. There will be other tests and other exams. Let them know that one exam does not shape their entire future. Scaring them is not how to motivate them. 
  4. If at all possible, lighten their load. Decrease their chores and responsibilities at home and allow them to take time off work. They need the extra time to study or relax and de-stress. 
  5. Realize when they have exams and do not plan any functions or trips around that time. 

We realize that we are Grade 12 students who are goal orientated and ambitious, while other youth are not. So these may not apply to all kids, however if your child is a good student who gets good grades you should trust that they will do what is best for them.

What to do when your stressin’ about exams!

Going into our last semester of Grade 12 we know all about exams and the stress that comes along with them. We’ve taken English exams, Chemistry exams, Law exams, Math exams, Anthropology exams, Writer’s Craft exams and so on and so on. Here are some helpful hints to keep you from stressing out.

  1. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. Seriously, you will regret this every time. When you get your review. Do your review! Teachers give them to us for a reason and no matter how pointless or time consuming they may be having some knowledge going into an exam is better than zero.
  2. Set specific goals for when your going to study and complete certain things in a time frame. You’ll feel less overwhelmed if you break things down into pieces.
  3. Take time off work and other activities, like your social life. The amount of time you have to study is limited with final projects and classes still ongoing. Take advantage of the time you have. 
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Whether it’s your friends, your teacher, or even another teacher who teaches the same course. Getting help isn’t embarrassing its smart.
  5. Don’t isolate yourself. Study groups with your classmates can actually be extremely beneficial. Working with others can help you understand new things and help you realize that other people are going through the same stresses as you.
  6. Don’t stop eating and get enough sleep! Without these two vital things you can make yourself sick which makes studying and writing exams hard.
  7. Make flashcards! Going through your material and writing it down is studying. You may not realize how much information your retaining while making your study notes.
  8. During your exam do the questions you know first! Sitting and trying to figure out a question you don’t know can leave you filling more stressed out than you were before. Another question in the exam may help you with the answer for a harder question. Also remember to check over your exam and don’t leave anything blank.
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We used this video in our presentation at SafeGrad in hopes of encouraging our peers to be the change they want to see.

Kat Edmonson- Be The Change

SafeGrad Workshop 2010

SafeGrad is an initiative aimed at reducing harm due to drug and/or alcohol misuse for both students and those who may be affected by their choices. The workshop began at 9:00 am with Andy Thibodeau as the opening speaker. His introduction was entitled “Making Care Contagious” which talked about genuinely caring about people and not falling prey to being “cool” because cool is not fun! After his hilarious presentation the workshop moved into the auditorium to hear the impact speaker, AJ Fordham.

AJ was a perfect example of how accidents can happen to anyone. He had everything going for him until the night of his accident. He sustained critical injuries including Traumatic Brain Injury. Thankfully he survived and now speaks about his accident in hopes of preventing what happened to him from happening to anyone else. Injury prevention is an important part of SafeGrad and AJ was the perfect speaker for the cause. His speech was extraordinarily heart felt and he really reached the students listening.

We also had the opportunity to give our own presentation. It was an amazing experience to speak out to our peers about youth leadership, communicating with peers, and encouraging people to be the change they want to see. Youth can be a major influence on their friends when it comes to making decisions and staying safe. We were glad to be a part of such a great initiative.

Check out the SafeGrad website by clicking here.

SafeGrad Workshop 2010

We’re Back!

Hey, Sorry for not posting regularly. As students we’ve been extremely busy over Christmas holidays and then studying for exams. In one of our posts we talked about stress and the business in the lives of youth. We hope you understand.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts!

The Pier Project

Friend vs. Caregiver

Friend: a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. (

Caregiver: a person who is responsible for attending to the needs of a child or dependent adult (

In our opinion, the best kind of caregiver/parent is someone who tries to be both a cargiver and a friend. Someone who will give boundaries but isn’t obsessed with them. Someone who you can confide in without fear of judgement or rejection. Someone who can be understanding and supportive. Someone you can trust and be honest with. We realize that as caregivers they have to have the upper hand in some situations and they have to set guidelines but they shouldn’t be overbearing and controlling. They should give us space and let us come to them. They should trust that they raised us right and if they suspect that we are going down the wrong path that they can approach us but they shouldn’t accuse. In order to have that kind of an open relationship with your child it is essential that you do act like a friend at times but also a caregiver/parent.  

Sydney (17), Alanah (17), Ashley (17)

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