Meet Dylan

When Dylan first walked through the doors of LOVE Nova Scotia three years ago, all the best parts of his character lit up.

The people that he met there saw something within him that he couldn’t even see himself at the time – the potential to be a leader.

He felt acknowledged. And even though he didn’t know it at the time, acknowledgement was something he had been looking for his whole life.

A vicious cycle

Dylan grew up in Downtown Dartmouth. He and his four younger siblings have been raised by a dedicated single mother who gives her all to her family and then some, but it’s not always easy. He wasn’t surrounded by the security of a safe community, and he didn’t feel like he had a network of support. The other kids and families in his neighbourhood didn’t accept him the way they accepted each other. He felt isolated, frustrated and fearful. He believed that the only way to stay safe and find acceptance was through conflict and physical violence. He was caught up in a cycle of trauma and pain.

Dylan often asked himself, “Am I gonna make it? Like, am I gonna be here in 10 years?”

Luckily, he found LOVE NS.

All you need is LOVE

LOVE NS helps youth develop emotional intelligence and essential life skills through their programming. That enables them to develop healthy relationships and overcome the challenges they face without violence. Programs include creative expression, group discussion, leadership development and one-on-one, 24/7 support. Participants emerge from LOVE as strong, independent and resilient leaders.

Through his dedication to the program and natural ability to role model for new participants, Dylan has been given the opportunity to become a youth ambassador. He takes this role very seriously. As a busy 18-year-old, he helps facilitate programming at least two nights per week. He also stays in close contact with other group members and LOVE’s Executive Director, Dennis Adams.

“Dennis is the best mentor a person could ever ask for. He helped me learn my worth and embrace the power of my words, making me feel respected and acknowledged, and giving me alternatives to conflict and violence. We’re all a big family at LOVE, and I’ll never forget the support they’ve given me.”

Making waves

Dennis and the team at LOVE are so proud of Dylan for the growth that he’s shown since joining them, and the high impact work he’s engaged in. He’s used his voice to advocate for the importance of LOVE at some very significant events in the social sector like the Community Impact Sector Day of Recognition 2022 and United Way Halifax’s Songs of the City 2023. At Songs of the City, Dylan told his story of resiliency and growth, and Aquakulture brought it to life with song. Here are the lyrics and a video of the performance:


What are you saying? – Aquakulture


Fought too many battles/With my in the head the clouds, I’m so high, I’m flying/

I got lost on a shadow/ Then the sun came, in the nick, of time/

Had a meeting with an angel/ Took one too many tries, but now I’ve decided/

I’ll take a road less traveled/ To observe what I’m missing inside/


What are you?, are you/ What are you, are you… Saying?/


Wasn’t given too many options/ Grew up way to fast on this pavement/

Ohhh, that’s not the life that I’ve chosen, no/ I give up tryna be what they see/

And these shoulders,

take far too many things, off of you/ But for me, that’s what I know I have/

To offer, this city needs a leader to show them/ my arms are wide, open, come in/


What are you?, are you/ What are you, are you… Saying?/


Ou, why do we try to avoid who are/

Ou , I’m finding a way to give you my heart/

That’s what I’m saying


I couldn’t have imagined/ Being in the place I’m sitting now/

The cards I’ve been dealt have been burning/ As the ashes float to the ground /


With a brand new purpose/ The LOVE I never felt , now, Shows me the path/

I’m getting older, matured into a flower/ I can feel you need a hand, so I ask/


What are you? Are you

What are you? Are you… saying ?

How are you?

Who are you?

What are you?

Where are you?

What are you, are you… Saying ?