Connecting Youth One Conversation at a Time …
Many good things are born from loss. The Adam’s Apples Foundation is one of those. Adam Hryhorchuk was a young man who came from a loving family, went to good schools and had a full life ahead of him. He died of an accidental overdose at 22 years of age.
Adam was more than a drug death statistic. He was kind. He would happily chat with anyone. Clever, exceptionally engaging and intuitive, he was naturally comfortable with those who were popular or those who were ignored. He was blind to status. Adam reached down and pulled people up. In his honour Adam’s Apples was created. We celebrate the good he stood for and want to create an environment in schools and teen centres that emulate his nature.
Adam’s Apples has designed a program that encourages students to connect and become socially responsible agents in their communities.
Our Apple Program has 4 additional components that allows youth to create positive social change within their school environments through: the Core Connector Initiative, Core Connector Scholarships, Monthly Initiatives and the Youth Council.
One of the key elements of The Adam’s Apples initiative is a youth led apple program where students take ownership and manage a simple and yet highly effective means by which students can Connect One Conversation at a Time. The Apple Program (AP) at each school provides fresh apples twice weekly to a safe and central location.
Adam's Apples Program
The apples act as a vehicle to create an opportunity to gather, share and have direct face to face engagement. This simple concept has been proven to be highly effective with students across an entire spectrum of personalities. The high level of engagement ranges from the shy and withdrawn simply looking for friends, to the highly socially active youth looking for guidance, as well with many students who just want to help.
The Core Connector Initiative (CCI) is a school-based prevention program designed to help youth gain peer support competencies and mental health literacy. It aims to reinforce positive help seeking behaviors in schools by working with a group of youth to take leadership in addressing mental health concerns in their schools. CCI involves two phases, a 14 week training phase and an action phase, and is implemented by a facilitator who has a background in counselling psychology or related discipline.
Core Connector Initiative
The training phase involves weekly meetings where youth learn about mental health and peer support strategies. After the 14 week training, participants are given a certificate to commemorate their completion of the program and can apply for a scholarship through Adam’s Apples Foundation. They then have the opportunity to take part in the action phase which consists of youth initiating and developing social actions focused on addressing mental health issues unique to their school environment.
Our Core Connector Initiative curriculum is split into three phases: relationship building, training and education, and action phase. Please see below for an overview of our 14-week curriculum. It should be noted that the curriculum modules in phase two can be modified based on the needs of the youth and school/community centre.
Please click on the Phase icons below to learn more about our weekly module topics.
Week 1. Visioning and Group Norms
WEEK 2. Mental Health Stigma
WEEK 3. Mental Health Overview
WEEK 4. Supporting a Friend
WEEK 5. Active Listening Skills
WEEK 6. Empathy Skills
WEEK 7. Support Networks
WEEK 8. Anxiety and Depression
WEEK 9. Positive Psychology
WEEK 10. Addictions
WEEK 11. Suicide
WEEK 12. Celebration
PHASE 3: ACTION
Youth work with facilitators to design presentations or projects to spread mental health awareness within their school or communities
You can also visit our “Core Connector Initiative” page for more details on our programming by clicking “More Information” below.
Core Connector Scholarships
Youth accepted into our Core Connector program and successfully complete the 14 week training are eligible to apply for need based AAF scholarships of $500 to be used toward their post secondary educational goals of their choosing.
Adam’s Apples launches monthly awareness initiatives that youth from our supporting locations can get involved in. There is a specific awareness theme for each month. For example, February is catered to bullying prevention awareness. Our goal is to encourage youth to spread awareness through contests and events at their school or community centre as another youth-led component to our program.
Click the “Monthly Initiatives” button below to learn more about our past contests and awareness themes.
The Adam’s Apples Youth Council (AAYC) is made up of students from our participating schools that are interested in supporting mental health in their communities. “Youth Voice” is now a recognized term which speaks to the importance of having the views of the current younger generation be heard and understood. The central element of the AAYC’s mandate is to provide the foundation feedback on the concerns facing youth today, and help facilitate the practices of our organization.