Meet Gian Carlo Badilla, a Youth Service Worker (YSW) at Eva’s Satellite and now during the COVID-19 pandemic at the hotel.

Gian has been with Eva’s for just over a year now and says his age gives him a unique perspective. “I am 23 years old. I am the same age/demographic of the people we serve. What’s special is that I can relate to whoever comes in, I find there’s always a connection,” says Gian. “Whether it’s discussing music or whatever, this allows an opening where we can build a connection, a trust.”

Before coming to Eva’s, Gian held several retail jobs and delivered Uber Eats via bicycle. But he felt called to do more, so he headed to Centennial College and did the Youth Service Worker program there. After graduating, Gian considers himself lucky to have landed at Eva’s. He believes it was truly meant to be.

This Youth Service Worker has a bit of advice for future graduates entering the field. “In the beginning, I had trouble at unplugging.  I carried my work, mentally and emotionally, home. Now I understand how important self-care is.” Gian adds,“you need to be passionate, have empathy and offer a lending hand and a lending ear. It is the littlest factors that can impact someone’s life and make the biggest impact.”

Gian also believes that small steps can lead to significant change. “I share with the residents all the time, to take it one day at a time, one foot in front of the other, taking small steps is still movement,” says Gian.

While this YSW is enjoying his time at Eva’s, he is working towards becoming a firefighter and says skills he learned while working at Eva’s will help him in his next role. “I have greater empathy towards people, better communication skills and can now quickly build a connection with anyone. These are skills that work not just with youth but for all demographics and all ages.”

Who knows what the future may bring, but with employees like Gian, we are striving to help make it brighter.

Young people at Eva’s need allies just like you to help end youth homelessness. Monetary donations ensure that Eva’s can continue to provide essential services and supports for youth experiencing homelessness.  Join the movement for brighter youth futures.
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