Zero Ceiling reduces youth homelessness and raises the quality of life for at-risk and homeless youth from Vancouver through the Sea to Sky corridor. We provide housing, employment and professional support that empowers youth with effective, practical tools to live healthy and independent lives. Through adventure-based learning, we provide opportunities for youth to experience mountain life and cultivate healthy, purposeful lives.
Zero Ceiling welcomes new Executive Director, Stephanie Matches
After six years as Executive Director of Zero Ceiling, Kasi Lubin is moving on to new, exciting ventures. Kasi has been a skilled, passionate leader of Zero Ceiling and has had such a positive influence on countless young people's lives, not to mention her co-workers, volunteers, board members and community partners. Her tremendous contribution to the organization includes the expansion and refining of programs, the development of significant sponsorship and fundraising initiatives and fostering many partnerships in Vancouver, Whistler and throughout the Sea to Sky corridor. We are extremely grateful for all she has achieved.
Sean Easton, Kasi Lubin, Stephanie Matches
We are excited to welcome Stephanie Matches as our new Executive Director.
Stephanie was born and raised in Deep Cove, BC and spent her childhood skiing in Whistler in winter and playing at the lakes and riding horses in summer in the resort she would eventually call home. Moving permanently to Whistler in 1999 with her two daughters, she quickly set out to make a difference in the community.
During her most recent tenure as Publisher of The Question, Stephanie volunteered her time and shared her experience as a director on many of the boards of Whistler’s not-for-profit organizations, including Whistler Arts Council, Whistler Chamber of Commerce, Whistler Museum and Whistler Community Services Society. As a charter member of the Rotary Club of Whistler Millennium from 1999-2009 she was President in 2004-05. Stephanie comes to Zero Ceiling with a connection to the organization that goes back to 1999, as a supporter through her then-position as Sales Manager of the Whistler Question newspaper and Whistler the Magazine. Stephanie’s experience and dedication to the Whistler community lends itself to her new position as Executive Director of Zero Ceiling.
Message from the Executive Director
Well, I’ve been in the Zero Ceiling Society of Canada Executive Director (ED) chair for a full eight weeks. The learning curve is immense and its finally starting to feel comfortable. Both myself, and our new Communications & Program Support, Chris Wrightson, are learning the ins and outs of the organization, with the help of our Program Manager, Sean Easton. Fortunately, our former ED, Kasi Lubin had kept all of our files in amazing shape PLUS she provided many hours of additional assistance. A BIG thanks to Kasi for setting us up for success!
We’re gearing up for the application process for our next Work 2 Live Term 1 participants for Winter 2016. The application process will begin with a meet and greet with our closest partner organizations in Vancouver: Directions Youth Services, Covenant House, Odyssey II (a program of Boys and Girls Club of Canada) and Urban Native Youth Association. All of these organizations assist us with screening appropriate applicants from both their previous participation in our Adventure Sessions program (where we have an opportunity to present our one-year Work 2 Live program to qualified 19-24 year-olds) and by simply having access to youth who fit our criteria and would be a good fit for our longer program. We’re looking to engage at-risk and homeless youth that are ready to take that next step to a more fulfilling life and career…living and working in this beautiful resort. The participants we attract to Whistler are those individuals that are searching for a career and lifestyle that city-life doesn’t offer.
Through our comprehensive Work 2 Live program, participants are provided with housing and a full-time job through our magnificent partners at Whistler Blackcomb. On Tuesdays, our Work 2 Live participants enjoy a day of adventure with Sean Easton, our Program Manager…followed by a dinner at staff housing. Our fabulous long-time supporter, Nesters Market, assists us with gift cards for participant use, in addition they support our scheduled Tuesday Family Dinner event, where participants get together with Sean for a fun-filled night of shopping for, cooking and sharing a healthy meal. Tuesday Night Dinners are compulsory but are a well-attended and fun break from a normal work week. Discussions around the program and issues relating to work-life and Whistler-life and its challenges are discussed. Our participants become friends and create their own support networks. We work closely with our partner, Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS), for outreach support when necessary for our participants. WCSS also provides initial support to our participants with the Whistler Food Bank. Regular meetings with local mentors are also a big part of the success of our programs. Our participants are matched with local business-owners to discuss anything and everything related to working life in Whistler. Since nearly everyone came from somewhere else, an instant and symbiotic connection happens between the two parties.
As we’ve just broadened our programming to include a second intake of four young adults this past June – bringing our total to 8 participants per year, from 4, we have doubled the number of participants, which doubles the amount of housing, food and transportation costs required; not to mention the additional outreach time needed to ensure all participants are well-served psychologically. Zero Ceiling needs to discover and reach out to new revenue streams constantly, as our program doesn’t receive any government funding. It all comes from our most gracious local providers, professional funders and donors, like you. We offer a monthly-giving program, accessible on our website and bequests are always welcomed! If providing and guiding a young adult to a future of success, independence and stability is your life-love and purpose, then we are the not-for-profit to share your wealth. Please visit www.zeroceiling.org to find out more and follow us on social media to connect and share our story.
Executive Director, Zero Ceiling
Summer Programs 2016
Work 2 Live
Our Work 2 Live program participants who joined us at the beginning of summer have settled into their jobs and are taking part in the adventure programming, mentoring and life in Whistler. This year we have expanded our Work 2 Live program to include a winter and summer intake, with the program duration now 12 months. This enables us to support twice as many youth in our Work 2 Live program. Our participants who started the program in winter are also doing well and continue to move towards independence and healthy lifestyles.
Applications for our next Work 2 Live program will be open at the beginning of September.
We have 12 more Adventure Sessions scheduled for this year and by the end of this summer over 200 youth will have taken part in ziplining or mountain biking.
For more information on our programming contact our Program Manager, Sean Easton.
Hullabaloo 2016 - what a night! Thank you to everyone who contributed to make it such a success: all our sponsors, donors, mentors, youth, board members, and every individual supporter of Zero Ceiling who came out to have a fantastic night at the Scandinave Spa. Your contributions helped to raise over $23,500, which will be invaluable to our programs in the coming year.
Thank you Ironman
Whistler hosted Ironman Canada in July again this year and we would like to say a big thank you to all the amazing volunteers who came and worked at the Zero Ceiling Sunscreen Station and Run Aid Station. It was a fantastic, inspiring day and we are so grateful for your support which enabled Zero Ceiling to receive a grant from Ironman Canada.
Donate as little as $20 per month
For the price of a coffee each week, you can play an integral role in providing and guiding a young adult to a future of success, independence and stability. Monthly giving provides Zero Ceiling with a stable source of funds to carry out our programs. The amount you choose to give is up to you.
If you live in Vancouver and love a good board game and a challenge, sign up for the 24 Hour Board Game Challenge on August 27/28! It will be a super fun fundraising event, organized by one of our Zero Ceiling supporters.
Zero Ceiling’s progressive partner organizations make our programs possible. Through their generous and visionary support, Zero Ceiling has been able to provide opportunities to date for over 4,000 at-risk and homeless youth to participate in our adventure-based day programs and 77 youth to wholly transform their lives through our signature Work 2 Live program.
To learn how your organization can join forces with Zero Ceiling, email Stephanie Matches, ZC Executive Director or call 604 962 5000.
Featured sponsor: Turtle Bay Resort
Thank you to our donor and sponsor, Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii, for their donation for Hullabaloo. They have continued their support by kindly offering this fantastic deal to the Zero Ceiling network. Book before December 10, 2016.