Victoria Schermel is set to take on Mount Kilimanjaro for Kelowna’s homeless youth this October. (Submitted)

Okanagan woman to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for homeless youth

Victoria Schermel’s climb will raise funds for youth homelessness initiative, The Upstream Project.

A Kelowna woman is set to climb Mount Kilimanjaro this October in an endeavour to raise money for Kelowna’s homeless youth.

Victoria Schermel, who works with high- risk and homeless youth in the Central Okanagan, has an Oct. 10 date with the world’s fourth-highest mountain (according to peaklist.org) and is currently raising money on various platforms for Journey Home’s youth homelessness initiative, the Upstream Project.

READ MORE: Journey Home makes headway on strategy

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The Journey Home Strategy is the City of Kelowna’s five-year plan to address homelessness and the Upstream Project, a prevention-based program that helps keep kids in school and in stable housing, is one of the initiatives in that program. Schermel said she chose the project because her biggest passion is youth prevention work.

“When the Upstream Project initiative was brought forward as one of Journey Home’s goals to end youth homelessness, it really resonated with me and the work that I do. I knew that it was something I really wanted to fundraise and create awareness for because of my passion for this field and working with these kids. I believe that prevention and early intervention are the keys to long-term success.”

Schermel is making the climb through a company called Charity Challenge. She’s currently raising money through Trellis and GoFundMe campaigns and her goal is $10,000—which she’s sure she’ll beat.

“I chose to climb Mount Kilimanjaro because I hope to inspire the youth that I work with to set big goals and overcome challenges in their lives,” said Schermel. “Even when they feel like those goals are out of reach and a constant uphill battle, with some hard work, dedication and perseverance, your goals are totally achievable.”

Schermel is also hosting a clothing drive today (July 20) at the Boys and Girls Club in downtown Kelowna from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. She said when the day is over she’s taking the clothes to Value Village, who will be paying for the clothes by the pound. She’s asking for gently used clothing, accessories and bedding.

All proceeds from the clothing drive will also go to the Upstream Project.

For more information, you can visit Schermel’s Facebook and Instagram pages for her climb.


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

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