Working with Alternative Youth for a Better Future

By Mary Knowles, Good News Journalist

Kam has been working as not only a counsellor but has even more recently spoken, with great success, to students at an Alternative School in Burnaby.

What was originally meant to be a 15 minute presentation, turned into a nearly hour long discussion with the students.

The conversation revolved around the importance of making healthy choices and connections in life despite difficult circumstances and situations. Kam states that “these kids going to alternative schools are already constantly being stereotyped, judged, and criticized. I wanted them to feel validated and understood, to show them that their experiences and perspectives can be utilized to their benefit.”

Kam highlights the importance of hard-work, positive affirmations, discipline, and self-sacrifice. A single father himself, Kam has been dedicating his time to not only helping those who feel powerless to the lifestyle they’ve fallen into, but to raising his son. In the process he has reconnected with his parents, a feat that he wouldn’t have thought to have been possible when he felt powerless to his addiction.

“Believe in yourself,” Kam states, “don’t fall into the trap, just to participate or belong somewhere. I strongly believe the quote that ‘the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenges and controversy.’”

When asked what he believes to be struggles that are unique to today’s youth, Kam brought up the prevalence of Fentanyl and Social Media. He describes the growing widespread presence of the deadly drug as having “changed the system and compromised any form of stability. It’s actual russian roulette out there”. Kam hopes to continue his visits to the Alternative School in Burnaby in the Fall, so that he may continue to mentor and connect. The hope is that they may be inspired to be present and create positive connections, as well as invest and believe in themselves.

Reach Out

For those who wish to contact Kam concerning guest speaking or counselling, you may do so via telephone at (604) 417-1063 or email him at

Or, for an in-person meeting for further support and connection, his office is located on 1037710 120th Street in Surrey. He is available between 4:10-9:00 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Meaningful Connections and Sustainable Solutions

Our goal is to offer meaningful connections and sustainable solutions to the problems of addiction and homelessness in the community.

Our Mission: The Phoenix Society is a multi-service agency dedicated to providing accessible services and opportunities to people who face barriers related to addiction, mental health, housing, education, criminal justice involvement and/or employment

Our Vision: A healthy community where all people feel connected and have opportunities to discover and build on their strengths to reach their full potential