Young Ambassadors Program

The Young Ambassadors Program (YAP) is a social program for young people ages 18 to 25 diagnosed with autism.

The goal of YAP is to give young people a place to hang out with their peers while doing a variety of activities. This group will help them feel connected with others and a part of our community.

If you are 18-25 years old would like to join YAP, you can contact our YAP leaders at yapleader@autismokanagan.ca. One of the leaders will contact you and set up a virtual meeting to answer any questions and see if YAP is a good fit for you – if so, our leaders will help you become a member.

YAP is held on WEDNESDAY evenings from around 6-7:30pm depending on the activity and location. (See our News and Events page for the most up to date schedule.)

YAP allows participants hang out with like-minded peers.   This program provides a mix of activities including games nights, active recreation, community activities, social skills development, information sessions, guest speakers, and more. Activities are chosen based on the interests of the group. Please visit our news and events page posts for a schedule information (future and past).

Participants also have opportunities to volunteer at AOK events and are encouraged to offer suggestions to the AOK Board of Directors about the needs of young adults with autism in our community.

COVID-19 UPDATE TO MEMBERS: We provide a variety of in-person, online, and virtual activities that follow the Young Ambassadors Program COVID-19 Safety Plan. As to ensure attendees, volunteers/staff, and families stay healthy and safe, Autism Okanagan (AOK) will follow public health recommendations specific to limiting the spread of COVID-19. Please don’t hesitate to contact our YAP leaders who are available to support you during this time.

Please note that participants must either be independent for self-care and safety or attend with a support person. They should be able to participate in activities with the intermittent help of their peers and our young leaders. Our leaders are not able to address individual needs on a continuous basis. Parents are welcome to attend for support if needed, with the hopes that as the year progresses the participant becomes more independent and comfortable attending on their own. Ideally, we are hoping to give young adults with autism a place to hang out without hovering parents.

What: Young Ambassadors Program (YAP) 

When: Wednesdays 6:00ish – 7:30ish pm. Visit our News and Events page for a detailed schedule and watch for emails from the YAP leaders once you are registered. 

Current Session: Sept 2020 – June 2021

Cost: Occasional $5-20 fees to cover the costs of some activities

Main location:  We will be based online for the duration of COVID-19 and locations will change for in-person activities. 

To register or receive more information, please fill out the registration forms and waivers on the website. If you have any questions please email us at  yapleader@autismokanagan.ca  or  info@autismokanagan.ca.

On November 19, 2020 we all discussed and agreed upon an online Code of Conduct: Online Code of Conduct ·        No swearing ·        Take turns when speaking ·        Always be nice even when you don’t agree ·        Don’t share personal information ·        Only say things you would say to your grandmother. **Thank you everyone for following these rules and creating such a welcoming and safe space online. If you have any more ideas or rules please e-mail us back. yapleader@autismokanagan.ca

Past Activities

2020

November 11 – Cancelled due to Remembrance Day. November 25 – Online Board Games. November 18 – Online EXIT room. November 18 – Online EXIT room. November 4 – Online Dungeons and Dragons Mad Mage. October 28 – Online Halloween craft. October 21 – Kelowna Corn Maze. October 14 – Online Cooking lesson. October 7 – Hike at Mission Creek Park. Sept 30 – Online move night. Sept 23 – Digital Escape Room September 16 – on line – welcome back; review discord use; online board games. August 19 – beach day. July 29 Online movie night. July 7 – online trivia night. June 24 – online trivia night. June 17 – Dungeons and Dragons. June 3 – Online board game night. May 27 – movie critique. May 20 – online trivia night. May 13 – movie critique. May 6 – Online board game night. April 29 – online cooking lesson. April 22 – movie critique. April 15 – mental health discussion. April 8 – Story writing session.  April 1 – Movie critique. March 25 – virtual meeting and activity. March 11 – Ambassador topic. March 4 – Dungeons and Dragons. Feb 26 – Badminton. Feb 19 – Restaurant. Feb 12 – Board Game night/Gym. Feb 5 – Dungeons and Dragons.   Jan 29 – Introduction to Sword Fighting. Jan 22 – Public skating. Jan 15 – Guest Speaker Joanne Poole Discussion on friendship and dating skills.  Jan 8 – Dungeons and Dragons.  

2019

December 18 – EXIT room. December 11 – Badminton and crafts. December 4 – Dungeons and Dragons. November 27 – Basketball and craft night. November 20 – Bowling at BNA Brewing Company and Eatery. November 13 – Music at Glenmore Elementary. There will be stations to try a variety of instruments and a gym for a quiet space. Bring an instrument if you want … or plan to play us your favourite song and tell us why you like it. November 6 – Dungeons and Dragons and character building with our guest Dungeon Masters. Even if you’ve never played, come and join. There will be beginners and experienced players. Oct 30 – Halloween Extravaganza (dress up if you want!) Games, candy, pumpkin carving. Oct 23 – Chess Night. There will also be access to the gym at Martin Center. Oct 16 – Kelowna Corn Maze. Details via email. Oct 9 – Poker Night, Games, Gym time at Martin Center. Oct 2 – World Beat Family Golf – driving range. Sept 25 – Frisbee Golf at the base of Knox Mountain. Sept 18 – Board Games. Sept 11 – Beach Day. Sept 4 – Registration and games. June 26 – Lawn bowling lesson at the Kelowna Club City Park.   June 18 – Outdoor sports – badminton etc. June 11 – Exploring Music Evening – using various instruments.  June 4 – Dungeons and Dragons @ Kelowna Library.   May 28 – Museum Tour.  May 21 – YMCA Connects Program information.   May 14 – Badminton cancelled due to weather. Had games night instead.   May 7 – Dungeons and Dragons.   May 5 – Activities at the Kelowna Autism Walk. Ben Lee Park 12-2pm.  April 30 – Driving Range – Kelowna World Beat Family Golf.  April 23 – coffee/tea & chat at Tim Hortons.   April 16 – Board & Video Game Night.  April 9 – Kelly O’Bryan’s.  April 2 – Dungeons and Dragons.  March 26 – Poker Night.   March 19 – Laser Tag

YAP participants with Telu Ambassadors Donation at new office

A big thank you to Telus for their $5000 donation to get this program started in 2016. Telus Ambassadors also donated a microwave oven, vacuum and table as items for our meeting space. We appreciate you Telus!

The Young Ambassadors in Action!

Autism Okanagan

Click on our logo to watch the video!