This post originally appeared on Nexus Youth Services’ blog on September 29, 2014. Nexus Youth Services provides services for youth between the ages of 14 and 24 years  who live in the Peel Region of Ontario, Canada.

Had you visited the Nexus Youth Centre on any given Wednesday between January and June this year, you would have found a group of budding young artists, carefully contemplating a big artistic project with which to welcome visitors to the drop-in space: a mural.

Nexus mural
Together, the Living Colour group worked through many planning and conceptualization activities to help them figure out what they wanted the final product to look like. “Timeless”, “relatable” and “inclusive” were all words that surfaced in conversation again and again. At first, the project seemed overwhelming because the group believed that ‘inclusiveness’ meant having to represent every single idea, but after realising that sometimes inclusiveness can seem more complicated than it really is, the group decided to focus its attention on the unmistakable Mississauga city skyline.

The curves of the Absolute Towers, along with the peak of City Hall clock tower and the points and angles of the Living Arts Centre and Mississauga Central Library are all easily recognizable to everyone, whether they’re a lifelong resident or visiting for the first time. The skyline also represents the community where many Nexus youth live, learn, work and play, and the place where many youth first encounter the Nexus Youth Centre and connect with supportive peers and caring staff.

“The youth who participated in the conceptualization of the mural were really passionate about generating a positive experience for their peers, because youth in our community haven’t always had exposure to positive things,” says Nexus staff member Melissa. “As such, we believed that bringing the city inside the Youth Centre space would also let youth know that although the city can sometimes feel like a dark and lonely place, at Nexus they can find light, support and place to celebrate.”LivingColour

The Nexus Youth Centre offers lots of great groups to get involved with throughout the year. These groups are free to join and you can even earn volunteer hours by participating! Check out the calendar on our website for more information.

If you’re looking for help, Nexus Youth Services is here for you. You can contact us via our website or by calling 905-451-4655. If you aren’t interested in counselling, you can visit us at the drop-in centre located on the 2nd floor of the Mississauga Central Library. You can also get your daily dose of Nexus by following us on Twitter and Facebook, and don’t forget to check out our videos on YouTube!

Nexus Youth in Living Colour