Ken Byars: The Hope Within the Outreach

By Diana Barry

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“When you invest time in someone’s life, you are telling the person they are important”

Ken Byars has a drive for making youth feel, loved and important. He spends his time volunteering with youth in his community and throughout Ottawa to show them that they can be loved without condition. Ken believes home is all about being with family in a safe environment; no matter who that might be. He tries to portray positive values to the youth he works with in order for them to have more self-confidence. He uses his passion for ministry to motivate himself and those he works with. He works very hard in order for the youth to see the potential that they have.

Ken has volunteered through multiple organizations over the past twenty years such as Ottawa Inner City MinistryRestoring Hope, Ministry for Bikers and individual outreach programs. He currently uses his time to work individually with youth from many different backgrounds as a constant support throughout their growth. Ken’s love for his volunteer work helps to overcome some of the challenges he’s found within his volunteer work. He stated that once you allow yourself to get involved in this work it is easy to lose control with your emotions. He explains the importance of setting boundaries and staying within them in order to find successful results. 

Ken enforces the importance of following through with the work he does, because if you are going to spend time on someone you need to fully be there for them. A lot of his work consists of mentoring the youth, being a listening ear, making sure that they are safe and knowing that someone cares about them. Ken believes that these kids need a fair chance because a lot of them have never been given the resources they need to succeed. The best advice Ken can give to anyone who feels the drive to work with youth is that you must be honest and completely yourself. Ken’s faith has continued to push him within making his impact on many youth who may feel as if no one cares about them.