Leveraging Community Programs to Alleviate Living Expenses in East Scarborough with Christian Casimier

As leaders in our communities, it's crucial to tackle the barriers posed by the rising cost of housing in East Scarborough. With home prices escalating, our club has had to explore avenues to enhance accessibility to programs and learning spaces. We aim to ensure that children and families don't face the dilemma of choosing between housing and after-school activities.

Meet Christian, our Sports Program Coordinator and passionate advocate for affordable sports programs. Joining BGC East Scarborough nearly 12 years ago, Christian brought with him a wealth of experience in sports and basketball. His journey with basketball began in his youth, becoming not just a passion but a guiding force in his life. Growing up in a single-parent household, basketball provided him with affordable and impactful programming, shaping his trajectory.

Christian emphasizes the importance of spaces offering affordable programming, alleviating burdens for families like his own.

He shared, "When I think about limited access growing up as a child, and watching my mom raise me on her own, I am now so thankful for spaces that provided affordable programming because it was one less barrier we had to consider. I can truly say that sports programs were one of the driving forces of my growth."

Bring at the Club for just under 5 years, Christian has been inspired to diversify our sports programs, including multisport, basketball, hockey, and more.Through the feedback and conversations he's had through our after-school programs, aiming to create programs that offer two things: affordability and quality.

Despite common misconceptions associating affordability with low quality opportunity, Christian is dedicated to ensuring that this is not the case. His awareness on the impact of child poverty in our community has helped him consider what he needs to do to develop programming where every child feels valued and supported.

Many of our participants hail from single-parent households, facing financial constraints and shouldering responsibilities beyond their years. Through our programming, parents can rest assured that their children are engaged in positive activities, fostering purpose and interest while potentially opening doors for their future.

Christian's efforts have not only benefitted our participants but have also strengthened bonds within our community. By allowing children to take equipment home, instilling a positive contribution to growth.

"Although the cost of the program is cheaper, I didn’t want our children to feel undervalued. With this, I found ways to allow the children to take equipment home so we can create a positive cycle, so they do not have to feel limited to access. They can see their potential and determine their future.

His dedication has fostered meaningful relationships with participants and their families, who continually express gratitude for the nurturing environment we provide. Through our sports programs, children learn dedication, patience, and commitment, shaping them into well-rounded individuals.

Christian's journey underscores the transformative power of removing as many barriers as he can for our families to give them the happiness they deserve. Affordable programming and sports means contributing to flexibility at home, and the opportunity for our children to engage in fun activities, and for their parents to feel worried free, knowing their children are safe and considered.

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