Keeley Davidsen (left), ConnecTeen volunteer and winner of the 2015 YODA for Peer Support, with Jerilynn Daniels of RBC, the organization that sponsored the category.

Keeley Davidsen’s experience with ConnecTeen began when she was going through her own issues and used our ConnecTeen services.  When a high school project provided her with the opportunity to promote ConnecTeen she entered a video contest that included her fellow students. Keeley and her friends created a very compelling video called “U R Not Alone”. It was so well done the video was shown on the Jumbotron at the 2014 Calgary Hitmen Fan Appreciation night and ConnecTeen fundraiser.

After receiving 39 hours of intensive training in crisis intervention Keeley began volunteering with Distress Centre in April 2014.

A member of our staff Kaylee Knox, Contact Centre Volunteer Team Lead, nominated Keeley for the Youth of Distinction Award.

“I felt it was really important to nominate Keeley for the peer support award because her passion is just bar none in terms of our program,” Kaylee said. “She’s gone above and beyond in a lot of ways and I think that with each youth in crisis that she speaks with, she’s able to build such a great rapport and connect with them on a great level.”

Kaylee added that Keeley often goes the extra mile and picks up extra shifts when we need coverage on the lines. In 2014 she was the first to volunteer her time on Christmas Eve and also came in to support youth on Christmas Day.

Keeley (right), with Kaylee Knox, the Distress Centre employee who nominated her for the award.

She also volunteers her time and talent outside of the lines, creating videos for us to use for donor stewardship and to showcase ConnecTeen’s services. She updated the “U R Not Alone” video to be shown at our 2015 Calgary Hitmen-ConnecTeen fundraiser event.

On May 2nd Keeley was announced the winner at a luncheon hosted by Youth Central at the Calgary Zoo. Jerilynn Daniels, Sr. Manager of Community Investment & Marketing for RBC, presented the award.

RBC continues to be the proud sponsor of the Conoco Phillips Youth of Distinction Awards in the Peer Support category,” Jerilynn said in the nomination video. “We believe in and encourage a supportive environment for youth in the community.”

RBC is a valued Sponsor Distress Centre’s ConnecTeen program so we were happy to have RBC present the award.

Keeley says she volunteers each week because she believes that youth need confidential and non-judgemental support and knows firsthand that “you can’t always do it on your own.”

Though Keeley says she is not overly fond of being the centre of attention it “felt good to be recognized.”

Distress Centre and ConnecTeen are incredibly fortunate to have volunteers like Keeley on our lines, providing supporting to youth in crisis.

Kaylee said she hopes that Keeley, who has completed over 200 volunteer hours and often picks up additional shifts, “will continue volunteering with ConnecTeen for as long as possible!”

You can see her nomination video here.

Learn more about our ConnecTeen program at Please consider volunteering with Distress Centreif you are 18+ or ConnecTeen if you are 15-20 years old.