New youth centre director meets Smiths Falls councillors

Posted on: June 27, 2017

Chris Must

A new executive director takes over the reins at the Smiths Falls and District Centre for Youth as of July 10, and has already been introduced to the members of town council.

Bridget Manahan grew up in the area between Smiths Falls and Perth, and graduated from Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute. After attending Loyalist College she volunteered at a number of youth agencies, and gained work experience as program coordinator at the youth centre in Kemptville.

At a June 26 council meeting, Manahan said she feels privileged to be working in her home community, and added, “I’m very aware of the proud history that SFDCY has.”

Manahan was introduced to council by Les Voakes. Voakes managed the youth centre for about two months while the board of directors of the agency searched for a new executive director.

The youth centre has had to replace all its staff as they were offered other jobs. Former executive director Adam Gariepy has moved on to new employment, but will continue to serve on the board.

Voakes said the centre’s many activities kept him very busy during his interim role. “I was quite impressed and very surprised at how much the youth centre is involved,” he said.

The centre operates nutrition and exercise programs, facilitates discussions of social and personal issues, teaches teamwork and community involvement, and hosts dances and a variety of fundraising events.