Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!”

Life at Zero Ceiling is full of inspiring moments, and few more so than when young people graduate from our Work 2 Live program. They’ve have spent a year working hard, achieving goals, learning new skills and having fun in the mountains. And graduation is a chance for the guys to reflect on just how far they’ve come. Earlier this week, two of our guys, Stefan and Dakota, got that opportunity.

“I can truly say my life has changed for the better.”

There are lots of different reasons why people join the Work 2 Live program. And there’s lots of different things they want to get out of it. But they all have the same drive to make a positive change in their lives: to take advantage of opportunities and challenge themselves. And the progress they make is truly inspiring to watch. By the time they graduate from the program, they have developed a transition plan for how they want to move forward in their lives. And they’ve had a lot of fun too. As Stefan said, “I’ve had so many adventures with so many awesome people. I can truly say my life has changed for the better.”

Stefan and Dakota with Co-Executive Directors Sean and Chris

Graduation is also a chance to celebrate and have fun. The whole Work 2 Live crew headed down to The Adventure Group to challenge themselves on the Treetop Adventure Course. A few wobbly knees and a lot of laughs later, feet firmly on the ground, they were treated to a delicious three-course dinner at the Hilton Whistler. Once again, the generosity of our local businesses made a huge difference, allowing us to give the guys an awesome day they’ll never forget.

The Work 2 Live crew keen to get started on their treetop adventure

At the end of the dinner, we presented the graduates with their graduation award. Earned throughout the year by participating in Zero Ceiling activities, the cash award helps them make the transition to living independently. Everyone uses it for different reasons: a damage deposit for their own place, an instructor training program, a new bike. This year, Mike Walsh from Walsh Restorations generously sponsored all the graduation awards for the eight young people in the program.

Celebrating Graduation Dinner at the Hilton Whistler

“Oh the places you’ll go!”

Both Stefan and Dakota are excited to keep living and working in Whistler now they have graduated. Dakota, who we featured in our blog earlier this year, has landed a job as a mountain bike instructor, and can’t wait to start riding on the new bike he’s purchased for himself. While they’re leaving the Work 2 Live program, they won’t ever leave the Zero Ceiling family, and we’ll still be around to support them, listen to them and most importantly, shred with them!

We presented the guys with a copy of Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” – a fantastic read for anyone making a transition in their lives. Their success can’t be summed up much better than the last four lines of the book:

“You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!”


So congratulations, Stefan and Dakota!