Raymond King

Raymond King

by: Trevor Stokes   People think they have it tough. I hear it everyday, how hard their life is. Raymond King has never had it easy. NEVER. Believe me on this one. However bad things might seem, take solace that you didn’t face the struggles and obstacles this young man has encountered since birth. Ray came to Streetfront for his grade 10 year. His early school years were filled with upheavals and new beginnings. Consistency and stability were totally absent. Every report card had the same, classic, kiss of death comment, “Raymond has great potential BUT…..” He definitely struggled in school but the teacher’s were absolutely correct about one thing – the kid had the goods. He just didn’t operate the way they needed him to. His high school career careened off course pretty quickly. He was asked to leave his high school towards the end of grade 8. He joined an alternative program and found some stability but was still way, way off course. He entered Streetfront in September of 2010, very skeptical of what we were going to offer him. The first few weeks weren’t super positive. Ray showed up and participated but his heart wasn’t really in it. He had an aloofness and air of superiority that I was unsure how to tackle. His passive aggressive tendencies were well-earned, I knew that after reading his file but I couldn’t earn his respect. It was getting towards late November and I decided to take a different tack. He had become a very consistent runner with the program, knocking off 10 km after 10 km but he always ran with a friend from his former high school. I was always at the back, picking up any kids who were struggling. I decided one day to go out with the two of them and see if I could take a bit of that smugness off of his face. The run started out slowly and then the pace quickened and quickened. By the 3 km mark they knew what was up. There were no conversations on this run. At every stop light, we kept our eyes on the flashing figure and when it was time to go, we were off. To this day, I have never ran so hard. I’m not sure if they knew but I was breaking down. The last km is a downhill push towards Britannia Secondary and I put everything I had into it. When we pulled up to the portable, I looked over and knew they were dying too. We didn’t say anything. I shook their hand, like I do to every kid who has ever run a 10 during a training run, but remained...

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Frank Joseph

Frank Joseph

by: Trevor Stokes   Here’s another Streetfront gem. Please meet Frank Joseph. Frankie came to Streetfront after a rough start to his high school life. Always precocious and opinionated, he struggled to find acceptance in his grade 8 year. It was “suggested” that he find a new school. Streetfront became his new school. Frankie quickly ingratiated himself to the Streetfront staff. A natural athlete, Frankie always felt most comfortable be it l dropping into Hastings skate bowl as a 9 year old or working at his crossovers on the blacktop. He quickly latched onto the physical components of our program. Within days, Frankie was running three 10 km runs each week. By the end of November of his 1st year at Streetfront, he successfully ran the Seattle full marathon as a 13 year old. The troubles and conflicts that had dominated his school life were slowly fading into the background – what was emerging was the talent and confidence that was lying in trust inside that growing body. Frankie was always a risk taker but they were the wrong kind of risks. What he wasn’t initially prepared to do was commit to his education. I’ve always believed that once we “got” the kid hooked, we could leverage the physical and psychological gains we’ve made and translate that into taking more risks academically. Frankie took on that challenge. By the end of his grade 10 year, he was our top student. He was flourishing. He decided to enter Britannia Secondary for the remainder of his high school career. The teachers quickly found the same amazing kid we had got to know over the past two years. Frankie continued his connection to Streetfront as a peer tutor and mentor to our younger students. He took considerable interest in our younger Aboriginal boys, who he could see so much of himself in them. He joined the fabled Senior Boy’s basketball team; was selected to participate in the Honourable Paul Martin Initiative, which was an incredible entrepreneurial business program designed for a select cadre of Aboriginal students; participated in building homes for destitute families in Mexico; worked tirelessly to support his family; attended Aboriginal Rediscovery Camps in the summers; you name it, Frankie was involved. Frankie graduated from High School and wanted to give back even more. He raised funds to attend a leadership/fellowship program in Oliver, BC. This culminated with him doing extensive outreach work in the slums of India. Once Frankie returned to Canada, he made the decision to enter UBC and start his Education degree. He is currently in his second year and is quickly becoming a star in his program. Like Jesse Costucci-Phillips, his goal is to become an...

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Toni Gladstone

Toni Gladstone

by: Trevor Stokes   Hey Everyone, I’d like to introduce you to Toni Gladstone. Toni went to Streetfront for three glorious years. She entered grade 8 about as weak and unmotivated as any kid I’ve ever come across. Barry once reminisced that she tried to pay someone to travel the 30 feet to get her something from the vending machine. But as feeble as she may have presented, there was no denying a mischievous little streak in her eyes and a beautifully intelligent, yet very reluctant, mind. She stuck with us and started to believe in herself. First her grades started to improve, then she had the burgeoning confidence to start applying herself in our PE classes. Then came an interest in pushing herself in our running program.   The staff were in disbelief. This formerly withdrawn and broken down kid, was quickly becoming our best overall student. By the time she graduated from Streetfront in grade 10, she was an A student, attended at 98%, ran a half marathon, played on the senior ultimate team and was fully committed to her church. She continued her excellence at Britannia Secondary and graduated with ease, two years later. From there she did humanitarian work in Mexico building houses, continued with her fellowship and then moved to Saskatchewan (the kid has such great taste) and started university. She just finished her B.A and has decided to move to Winnipeg to help inner-city kids. Something she knows a thing about. Lets stop focussing on the inanity and debasement of what’s important in this world. Find the Toni’s that are out there. They will make us smile and know that things will all work out. Congratulations, Toni. You are as beautiful as they come!!!!!!! Street ……………………WHAT???????...

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Patagonia Chile 2017: Winter Training Hike – Burnaby Lake

Patagonia Chile 2017: Winter Training Hike – Burnaby Lake

With the recent heavy rains and warmer temperatures we were hoping for a training hike without icy trails but it wasn’t the case. Oh well, we are Street2Peaker’s so we take what we are given and get on with it. These 14 youth did a incredible job of backpacking two loops of Burnaby Lake (21 km’s today) with trail conditions that can be tough to walk on.       Chile 2017 Training Hike - Burnaby...

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Patagonia Chile 2017: Winter Training Hike – Pacific Spirit Park

Thank you to the Street2Peak students for showing up today with the desire to continue their Chile training. With cold-ish temperatures and many sections of ice we had a part road, part trail hike in Pacific Spirit Park and through the University of British Columbia campus. As we have just passed the 2 month mark to our departure for our Torres del Paine National Park backpack we now are focusing on final conditioning and gear testing. Thanks to Brandon and Amber for helping out the Streetfront “boys” with today’s hike. Chile 2017 Training Hike - Pacific Spirit...

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