Participant Testimonials

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What do past participants say about PSYL?

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"I saw YouTube videos of past PSYL participants and they said it was life- changing and I was sitting at home thinking... how? Now, after attending PSYL, I realize how. This has been a truly life-changing experience in all aspects of my life (both personal and in terms of the way I look at the world around me) and has surely exceeded my expectations!"-Past Participant

 

"I feel that I have grown immensely as a person as a result of this program. I am braver, more likely to stand up for myself or others, more educated about issues affecting our world, more compassionate, and just ... more. More a person, more someone who is in love with this program, more someone who is in love with people and life itself."-Past Participant

 

"PSYL has truly changed my view on the world. It has given me the opportunity to realize that there is hope in the world and that if I want to better an aspect of my life, that it is possible to do so. Thank you for the best experience of my life."-Past Participant

 

"Thank you so much for this opportunity - from meeting amazing individuals to finding myself, I feel as if I am ready to be the change."-Past Participant

 

"PSYL was one of the best months of my life. I have learned more about myself and the world I live in than I ever had. I would LOVE to come back as a facilitator next year because I think that another month at PSYL for anyone would be so beneficial."-Past Participant

 

"At first, I was very hesitant to come. I knew no one coming here, and for me, I was really going out of my comfort zone. As I began the program, I started to meet new and exciting people who were passionate about the world. I am very sad to leave, but I am honored to have had the privilege of coming here!"-Past Participant

 

"I just wanted to tell you how amazing PSYL was for me this summer. I still think about the fantastic experiences I had there everyday. I still find it absolutely insane how three weeks can change absolutely everything. It's amazing how in three weeks, I was able to learn SO much about myself in others and how I took away lessons that some people never learn throughout their lives. My school and PSYL are extremely different and after PSYL, I was a bit nervous coming back because I thought I'd look at my friends very differently. But nothing bad happened coming back. My attitude changed ... not my friends. I was able to find the good in the people I knew, and try to branch out to meet new people. One of the most important things PSYL taught me was to have an open mind about everything. I want to thank you so much. PSYL changed me so much and I like who I am now so much more. "-Past Participant

 

A letter from a Past Particpant

Dear PSYL Coordinators,

I would like to thank you for the wonderful three weeks that I spent last summer in your company. Though this might sound very cheesy, PSYL 2015 was a life changing experience that I will never forget.

Hope is the word I wrote on my spirit rock on the last day of the Seminar. I used to believe that hope for the future was an innocent way of denying the sad reality of life. The truth is, hope is in fact a rugged journey that is best undertaken by multiple travelers together. In my case, the travelers were not only a metaphor, but actual teenagers coming to Victoria from all over the world. These amazing people brought with them their own stories and ideas. Combining the differences and cultures in our journey required patience and was often difficult, but it was so rewarding. We all learned so much from each other and together achieved our own way of understanding the world as a community. Caring for the environment making ourselves vulnerable, practicing active listening, making “I” statements, caring for each other, going outside of our comfort zone, making others feel worthy that this is PSYL. Getting involved in the PSYL community helped us gain perspective and understand the reality that is life. That is what gives me hope. It’s the fact that all of these people threw themselves into the experience with an open mind and heart. That made me hopeful about youth. No, teenagers don’t necessarily spend all day on the computer. No, teenagers aren’t all into alcohol and sex. No, teenagers don’t all hate thinking and working. Yes, some teenagers do want to learn from each other. Yes, we do want to g to make the world a better place. And yes, we can. And no, I didn’t believe that before going to PSYL.

Because if we can spend 15 hours talking about sleepy times, there is nothing we can’t do.

Hope took many different shapes at PSYL. Whether it was hope to feel accepted on the first day, hope that we will make others smile, hope that we would find our identity principles, hope for eco-justice, hope that it was our time to do circles, hope for a last bay jump before closing Carpe Diem, hope that our friends would give us jazz hands at community building or even hope for the arrival of the next snack. Pearson College was a place full of hope during my last three weeks of summer vacation. I tried to take that hope back to Montreal with me now and feel much more positive about the future and confident in my peers and myself.

Thank you so much, coordinators, for making this experience so meaningful. The fact that you took the journey with us was what made us come out of it ten times stronger. The fact that you all continuously believe in youth and provide the space every year for us to believe in ourselves too is remarkable. Thank you for keeping the cycle going.

I have been unwell and am now on the path to health thanks in large part to my experience at PSYL

I hope my message shows the deep appreciation I have for you “folks”.

Thank you so much,