Learning to lead
St. Stephen's Community House has been a significant part of Karuna Sagara's life since she was in middle school. Growing up in the neighbourhood, Karuna says, "All the people in middle school were going to the Arcade during their lunch breaks and after school; it was like a social gathering! Over the years, I've built relationships with people here. There's always someone I could go to, to talk about the things going on in my life."
Karuna started working with St. Stephen's on the young women's group publication, the Venus Girlz Survival Guide, when she was in college. The following year, Karuna became involved with another Arcade publication, It's Not All Black and White. Working on that project, Karuna got experience assisting with leading the program, getting the group together, doing workshops, editing and getting people into creative writing. During her time with the House, Karuna has also gained experience on the Youth Advisory Council, on programs such as Young Leaders in Training and Boundless Adventures.
"My time at St. Stephen's has definitely helped me in my path, by giving me jobs, supporting me with things I'm doing in school and with advice," Karuna says. "I don't feel like a little kid anymore, but I can still keep coming back for advice!"