UNDERSTANDING- Troy Payne speaks to Hunting Hills High School students recently about how to overcome adversity.

Helping teens deal with adversity

Musician on a mission to help youth through music

With his love of music and background in counseling, Calgarian Troy Payne has been helping teens all over Canada overcome adversity with music.

His recent visit to Hunting Hills High School left students, teachers and staff with a vivid picture of a little boy who had been verbally and physically abused by his family his whole life.

The story of Kyle was told with the musical talent of Payne and his band called Aside From Sorrow, which is made up of three high school students from Edmonton. As Payne told the story of Kyle he would pause the story and play songs by his band that related to the story as well as songs by other bands that express abuse and bullying.

“We have created a way for teens to overcome adversity and find resiliency through rock music,” said Payne. “It is a rock concert with a message.”

Payne said there are a lot of messages in his presentation and one being that teens are not alone and that there are a lot of resources and services out there they can get in contact with.

“If they want to create change in their own lives it has to start with them,” said Payne. “They leave here with the tools, resources and the skills to be able to bring change in their lives.”

After each show Payne sometimes gets around 50 to 100 emails from kids who are crying out for help or who are going through some horrific things. He also said a lot of the emails are from kids thanking him for letting them know they are not alone.

Payne has been speaking to teens for seven years and started out as a youth and family councilor talking to kids one on one. He then became an inspirational speaker.

“As a speaker I realized that music is the most powerful form of storytelling that we have so being a hobby musician it seemed like a good mesh to bring live music into my presentation.”

Having lived through some tough times Payne has become an inspiration to youth because he can relate.

“Because of ‘My Story’, my life’s purpose has become providing youth with a voice and empowering all people to embrace the present.”

Payne offers a variety of presentations for both youth and adults and also seminars for those in need of help.

“We are hoping that we can create some excitement and momentum from this show and get other communities and schools interested in having their own rock show.”

If you would like more information visit Payne’s web site at www.wellnessrealization.net.

tsigurdson@reddeerexpress.com

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