Lida Magnus is holding a Destigmatizing Homelessness event in January to raise awareness through a school project. (Lida Magnus/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Langley student fights to de-stigmatize homelessness

Lida Magnus holds a presentation on Jan. 7 at Langley Fundamental School to help people in need

During the holidays, many people tend to give donations or volunteer a few hours to help the less fortunate, but one Langley high school student is going a step further and holding her own presentation to de-stigmatize homelessness.

Lida Magnus, a Willoughby resident and Grade 12 student at Langley Fundamental School, is holding Learn the Truth, on Tuesday, Jan. 7 – an afternoon where she plans to lead a conversation.

“It’s a final requirement called a Capstone project,” Magnus said.

Capstone projects are part of the B.C. curriculum, which allows students to demonstrate their learning using an area of interest as the basis for an act of volunteerism or public engagement.

“It’s about teaching students to follow their passion and something from their heart and soul; something other than making money. You have to put 40 hours into it,” she explained.

Magnus said other students chose to carry out different ideas such as research papers and art based Capstone projects – but for her, a passion for making a difference led her to plan an event.

“It’s an important subject – especially in Langley,” Magnus said. “There’s a false attitude going around. Lot’s of crimes are not committed by homeless persons, but people put the blame on them.”

The older generation’s attitude of not being able to see past that wall and saying that they go that way because of drugs is a problem. They’re not different – they’re just in a bad situation,” she continued.

READ MORE: Fill the Ambulance returns to aid Langley homeless

Magnus hopes to open people’s eyes with her presentation and show that stigmas and stereotypes of homeless people should be broken down.

“It’s about being willing to understand,” Magnus said. “I want to fight for what’s right. The justice system is not fair to them – they’re treated not not as equals and being pushed aside.”

Magnus was aided in her project by Kim Snow, founder of Kimz Angels, which has done substantial work in the community to help the homeless with annual fill the ambulance drives.

“I needed a mentor as a requirement for Capstone, and I chose Kim Snow. She was a great mentor and very accepting,” Magnus added.

The Learn the Truth presentation is open to the public and runs 3 to 5 p.m. at Langley Fundamental School’s Library Learning Commons – 21250 42nd Ave.

Admission is a donation of non-perishable food items.

Coffee and treats will be supplied by Red Velvet Cafe.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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