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First Ever Transitions from Youth to Adulthood Working Group to Launch this Week

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A few dedicated community volunteers are coming together to launch a working group for parents/caregivers of youth and adults with special needs. The goal is to discuss transitions from youth to adulthood. The meeting is on Thursday, November 7 at Avenue Coffee.

“We will meet monthly to discuss concerns and create goals regarding youth to adulthood and beyond. This group will come together to ensure opportunities and options for our youth and adults exist to have a meaningful life i.e., social, employment, housing, and recreation,” explained Nicole Park, group facilitator.

“My hope is to have committed community members representing all ages from youth and on to fulfill these much needed aspects of life for our community with different needs,” she added.

Parks, who is a well-known name in the region has been in town for 18 years, and is the founder of Camp "Kids First,” the first summer camp in Fort McMurray for autistic children. She also founded The Fort McMurray Autism Support Group, (now the well-known Autism Society of Wood Buffalo) but has stepped down to work on initiatives for youth and adults with special needs.

The Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre at Keyano College has partnered on a special program to support the youth to adult transitions group.  

“Keynao’s Be Fit for Life Program Coordinator Keegan Kuhr and I are piloting an inclusive program on November 22 and December 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. At these two sessions we will slowly introduce balance, agility, strength and cardio options to get a better idea of what activities may work for a regular program in the New Year. This is the first goal I have targeted to support a healthy lifestyle for this portion of the population in our community,” continued Parks.

Parents/guardians of youth/adults with special needs are strongly encouraged to attend the meeting.

Nicole Park can be reached via or 780-788-7258 for more information.


Kiran Malik-Khan is the Communications Manager for the Fort McMurray Public School District, and national award-winning communications professional. She is a freelance journalist, a communications professional, and a poet. She loves sharing stories about unique people, events, and organizations. Kiran is the co-founder and volunteer public relations director for NorthWord magazine, Fort McMurray's first and only literary magazine. She is also the President/Co-founder of World Hijab Day Fort McMurray. A proud Pakistani-Canadian who grew up in New Jersey, she is a fierce advocate of Fort McMurray, multiculturalism, women's rights, and equality for all. Got a story nobody is telling? Send her ideas: DM and follow on Twitter @KiranMK0822.