Stepping Up For Youth Haven

Barrie woman sets sights high

Debra Bobechko of Barrie is going to push the limits this summer.

Not here.

In Africa.

She’ll attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Youth Haven in Barrie. Mount Kilimanjaro is 19,340 feet high. Debra hopes to raise $19,340, one dollar per foot, through community donations and sponsorships. Her trip is already paid for, so everything she raises will go to Youth Haven.

“Even if I don’t summit, every step is a success. That’s what the youth need to hear. Every step they take to becoming a successful adult is a success. Individual success is their definition, not somebody else’s.”

– Debra Bobechko

Why Youth Haven?

“I have battled heart disease for most of my adult life. Yes, my health challenges have been an experience, but it is not who I am,” said Bobechko.  “Just like the young people that come through the shelter. There is so much more to each individual. Their homelessness is an experience. It is where they are at now, not where they are going to finish. That’s how I see my heart disease.”

Youth Haven Thrilled

“Our youth who are experiencing homelessness face mental and physical challenges every day that test their limits,” said Lucy Gowers, Youth Haven executive director.  “Just like Debra, they have a target they want to reach. A roof over their head. A job. Returning to school. It’s one step at a time.”

Over approximately six days, starting August 24, Debra and her team will ascend, summit and descend Mount Kilimanjaro, encountering temperatures near minus 20 Celsius as they get closer to the top of the mountain.

You can follow Debra’s climb and make donations at