Relationships 101 about getting teens to talk

Cedarbrae library and the Scarborough Women’s Centre have forged a relationship to help area youth open up about theirs.

The library is set to welcome teens age 15–19 on Oct. 13 at 4 p.m. to Relationships 101, a Young Women’s Outreach workshop.

“The focus of this workshop is to basically talk about the different types of relationships we have in our lives,” said Young Women’s Outreach coordinator Alyssa Muzaffar.

“We ask questions like: What is a healthy relationship? What characterizes it? What are some of the things you will experience in a healthy relationship?” she said. “And then we switch it up and look at the other end of the spectrum: What’s an unhealthy relationship? And one step further: What is abuse?”

Muzaffar said the premise of her program is to work like a “proactive arm” that points young women in a positive direction so “they don’t find themselves in negative situations” later on in life.

Relationships 101, Building Self-Esteem, Through a Different Lens and Goal Setting are four workshops that fall under the programming umbrella of Building Strong Futures.

“It’s heavily discussion-based and I usually do a couple of group activities, some case studies just to mix it up and make it a little bit more interactive and fun,” Muzaffar said.

Muzaffar said she usually takes a lighthearted approach to things when working with 15–19-year-olds.

“Sometimes it’s hard to get through to teenagers so I keep it kind of casual and open and free-flowing,” she said.

Muzaffar said her mandate is to get out into the community and talk to youth in “schools, community organizations and libraries.”

Interested teens are asked to register in person at Cedarbrae library’s second-floor information desk or by calling 416-396-8850.

“I’m looking to have a vibrant, fun, edgy and healthy discussion and to get the message across to the youth on Thursday night,” Muzaffar said.