Teen advocate Josh Shipp speaks in Fort McMurray


From left, Jason Beck, Executive Director of the Justin Slade Youth Foundation; Josh Shipp and Lynn Rhoddy, Program Supervisor, Stepping Stones Youth Services.

By Sanita Dhillon, Communications Assistant

Josh Shipp had a challenging childhood and bounced around in many different homes until he had a handful of caring adults reach out to him. Now a teen advocate and motivational speaker known as the ‘The Teen Whisperer,’ he strives to pass on this knowledge and be that caring adult for kids like him.

“Every kid is ONE caring adult away from being a success story,” he says.

Shipp recently spoke in Fort McMurray to local high school students from Holy Trinity, Composite and Westwood High Schools about the importance of reaching out for support when they need it. Wood’s Homes’ Stepping Stones Youth Services was proud to be present at this well-attended event.

“It was a great honor to bring greetings from Stepping Stones Youth Services and the Family Violence and Bullying Council on behalf of the community,” says Lynn Rhoddy, Program Supervisor.

Stepping Stones Youth Services is a member of the Family Violence and Bullying Council, a cross-sector committee that oversees all Family Violence and Bullying initiatives in our region. This includes Domestic Violence Court, Family Violence Awareness Month, National Bullying Awareness Week and other regional, provincial and national initiatives.

“Josh entertained the crowd with humour and love and encouraged youth to be true to themselves,” says Rhoddy.

Stepping Stones provides emergency housing and mobile outreach support for homeless young people in the Fort McMurray area. It is one of 37 programs and services provided by Wood’s Homes, a nationally recognized children’s mental health centre with locations throughout the province and in the Northwest Territories.

Stepping Stones Youth Services is celebrating it’s 5th anniversary of helping youth in Fort McMurray.

Josh Shipp’s TV series Teen Trouble (A&E / Lifetime) documented his work with teens in crisis. He has spoken at universities such as HarvardStanfordMIT and UCLA and is a recognized teen expert for media outlets as MTV, CNN, FOX, The New York Times, 20/20, Good Morning America. To read more click here.


Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends, family and community – let’s work together!

If you are experiencing a crisis and need to speak to someone, please call our counsellors at our 24/7 Crisis Counselling Line: 403-299-9699 or toll-free: 1-800-563-6106.

Wood’s Homes is a nationally accredited mental health centre – proudly helping communities for over 100 years. Learn more at woodshomes.ca.


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