Drug & Gang Education

Due to COVID-19, the following presentations will be delivered through Zoom until the COVID restrictions allow us to present in person. Please contact us for scheduling and additional information.

Gang culture can quickly become a lifestyle for the people involved or the youth being pulled in. Although movies may portray gangs to be cool reality says otherwise as gang affiliation can lead to serious consequences for all. Youth gang affiliation has grown to be a province-wide concern which is why the Kids Play Foundation has taken the initiative to help reduce gang rates.

Studies suggest that most of the youth who join gangs have already been involved in crime, violence and illegal drug use and others follow the trend. But through tactics of mentoring, volunteer opportunities, job opportunities, resume building, recreational activities, and educational seminars, KidsPlay can actively educate the youth of the dangers that come with gang affiliation.

It is Kidsplay's ultimate goal to build a safe community free of gang violence for the many generations to come. Hand in hand we can combat the growing youth gang concern.

These presentations can be scheduled for small groups to large audiences, please contact us for more information.

Request A Drug & Gang Presentation

  • Shane Knox

    DRUG & GANG EDUCATION TEAM

    Growing up on the streets taught him to do whatever it takes to survive. Shane went back and forth between social services and his grandmother. He became involved in the drug and gang scene, however Shane knew, deep inside, the criminal lifestyle wasn’t for him. He wanted to change. Gradually, over time, he expressed his interest to leave and pursue something legitimate, and become a productive citizen of society. While Kal patrolled the streets of Downtown East Side, as a member with his respective department, he had many encounters with Shane. They gradually built a positive rapport with one another. When Shane decided to leave this life of crime behind, he contacted Kal.

    Shane’s struggles did not end there. His ex gave birth to their daughter. The ex passed away shortly thereafter, leaving Shane the option of becoming a single dad and managing work, or leaving his daughter in the hands of social services. Shane made the difficult decision to step up as a single parent, and keep custody of his daughter.

    Shane has returned to his roots and now identifies with his culture. He also identifies with other youth, who have gone through similar upbringing to his. He said, “I want to leave a legacy my daughter would be proud of”. He is one of the newest members of the KidsPlay Foundation’s Drug and Gang Education Team. Shane now gives back to the community and comes out to present at Drug and Gang Education presentations to guide youth onto a better path.

  • Stan Price

    DRUG & GANG EDUCATION TEAM

    Stan grew up in a dysfunctional home. There was no one to guide him to achieve a higher education, to encourage him to participate in sports, or push him to pursue his dreams and ambitions. No child is born a criminal. Stan got involved with the wrong crowd, learning that violence was a powerful tool to gain attention, power and money. He found his identity in a gang, which he co-founded in the Downtown Eastside, known as the Red Alert. While working as a beat patrol officer, Stan and Kal would be constantly getting into arguments and fights, as Stan was running a drug operation and the police were trying to shut him down.

    It took the particular circumstances of almost losing his son to the drug trade, that made Stan step back, reassess his life, and decide it was time for change. KidsPlay Foundation is proud to have Stan as a presenter on our Drug and Gang Education Team. He is an invaluable member of our KidsPlay family; as are all other volunteers, presenters, sponsors and community partners.

  • Shenan Charania

    DRUG & GANG EDUCATION TEAM

    Shenan Charania immigrated to this country when he was just a youth. His life prior to that point had been an ideal one and full of promises. He participated in sports, was a standout student, and was embraced by a loving family. He believed in working hard to achieve goals. All that changed upon arriving here. The life he knew back home, and the life he came to learn here were polar opposites.

    He came into a school, where neither education nor sports or community service were looked upon with regard. Students around him cared more about partying, drinking, smoking drugs, rumours, gossip and drama. He stood out, and therefore was bullied. This led him down a dark path of being eventually expelled from school for depraved behaviour; involving fighting,

    smoking drugs, selling drugs, and eventually turning into a full time lifestyle of drugs, gangs and crime. It was not until his house was shot up late into the game, and his parents were home; that he realized he needed to change.

    Shenan went into legitimate business, and made lots of money, but it did not give him internal satisfaction. He transitioned away from his pursuit of money, and began to focus on helping others by becoming a life coach. Today, Shenan is a successful life coach, and a key member of the KidsPlay Foundation Drug and Gang Education Team.

  • Rob Sidhu

    DRUG & GANG EDUCATION TEAM

    An organic chemist and an engineer. Rob grew up in a small town in Northern Alberta. He was once a high level engineer for an oil and gas company and lost his job to his cocaine addiction. He is in the top percentile for ADHD and dyslexia, and was undiagnosed until his early twenties. These unrecognized mental health issues led him to making choices that he wished he had never made. He has overcome his addiction and is on the path of helping others prevent the same mistakes he made at a young age.

    His story has touched many young lives facing mental health issues and struggling in their homes and school settings. He provides hope and welcomes others going through similar challenges. His goal is to help individuals overcome their obstacles avoiding falling victim to drug abuse. Rob grew up in a well educated family where the expectation of succeeding was placed on him early on. Lack of education on mental health issues made it extremely difficult for him to communicate his challenges to his family.

    His illness was rejected by his family and his teachers. It was not until he came across an educator who shed light on the difficulties Rob had in a classroom in correlation to his mental wellbeing. His story is very inspiring and has a lot of takeaways for educators and youth workers.

  • Sumit Ahuja

    DRUG & GANG EDUCATION TEAM

    Sumit Ahuja is a practicing lawyer in British Columbia  and a recovering alcoholic and addict.  After his addiction almost took his life in March of 2017, Sumit attended a residential treatment center and achieved sobriety. Sumit’s personal mission to assist anyone dealing with addiction to find help and understanding and break the culture of secrecy that surrounds addiction. He is a member of the KidsPlay Education team and speaks with the team at schools and community centres.

    He is a member of the KidsPlay Education team and speaks with the team at schools and community centres. Sumit is the founder of live Big Society – an organization established to help those who cannot afford the means to access recovery centres. The road to recovery was challenging for many individuals Sumit came across during his days in
    recovery, and that is what compelled him to take action and become a beacon of hope for others.

  • Deep Rai

    DRUG & GANG EDUCATION TEAM

    Deep is an entrepreneur with a mission to change the world. In his own words, “I’m just a regular guy born and raised in Surrey”. Deep has encountered lots of success in his career and most importantly (in his own words) just as many failures. In 2015, while running a trucking company, Deep faced the downturn of the oil crisis in Alberta.  Soon after, his business followed the same fate and the doors were closed. As a result of this ordeal, Deep turned to alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism.

    As someone that prided myself by his material possessions, he found himself lost and with no purpose. After struggling with depression and anxiety, no license, vehicle, or money; Deep finally learned that happiness is free. They say this is the greatest lesson life can teach one.  During the early stages of COVID, with only $1,500 to his name, he quit his full time job and started a new business.

    He found his new purpose: to change the world. He began creating jobs in his community and is in the process of starting his own Foundation. As Deep says, “My new found success could not have been possible without Kal and Kidsplay”. For Deep, Kidsplay filled a void in an otherwise empty life and provided him with a greater purpose going forward.

  • Vijay Mann

    DRUG & GANG EDUCATION TEAM

    Vijay’s educational background consists of a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of the Fraser Valley, a Bachelor of Education and Special Education Diploma from the University of British Columbia, and a master’s in counselling psychology from Adler University.

    He is currently a school counsellor with the Burnaby School District. Prior to this, he was a teacher, a school administrator and a counsellor based in the community. Vijay has also worked with several counselling providers in the community and government funded projects.

    In addition to his employment, Vijay spends his time writing, enjoying fitness, and basically learning about anything and everything. He has also been a featured writer at The Good Men Project and has his own writing blog, which promotes writing-based and art-based therapy.
    Vijay’s view of therapy is to treat clients with empathy and dignity and help them shift toward lasting health. It is a journey based on care, trust, and self-discovery.