Social Media Column: Tweeter Profile – Mark Cherrington

Published in the August 28, 2012 issue of The Edmonton Sun.

Linda’s social media column can be found every Tuesday in the Edmonton Sun.

Tweeter Profile – Mark Cherrington

I talk a lot about how great Edmonton’s online community is and I show you a glimpse of that greatness through these weekly columns. But I wanted to get into it a bit further, and really highlight some of Edmonton’s most interesting people through what we’ll call “Tweeter Profiles.”

These profiles will take a closer look at a member of Edmonton’s Twitterverse: who they are, what they tweet, and why you should follow them.

For the inaugural Tweeter Profile, I introduce you to Mark Cherrington – a long-time Edmonton youth worker who offers raw insight into an issue that we sometimes ignore. Cherrington is changing lives – offline and with the help of people online.

Name: Mark Cherrington (@MarkCherrington)
Age: 48
Joined Twitter: Dec. 15, 2010
Followers: 1,367

What do you tweet about?

MARK: I try to focus on anecdotal stories of youth at risk and how they’re involved in the child welfare justice system.

Why did you want to join Twitter?

MARK: There’s a whole part of life that we’re just not aware of. People and kids who are exploited and victimized and see things differently than you and I would see. My idea was to provide a voice for the voiceless in that sense that we seem to stereotype young offenders and youth at risk but if you’re a 12-year-old mother, what sort of chance do you have and what sort of chance does your baby have?

How has Edmonton’s Twitter community responded to your tweets?

MARK: I’ve had a lot of community engagement through my Twitter. I get a lot of people who want to volunteer or ask ‘how can I help?’ I’ve had great success in getting stuff for newborn babies and mothers at risk.

Why should people follow you?

MARK: We’re all part of the same community and it’s important to understand the successes and the challenges that many of the marginalized feel. My tweets can sometimes be graphic and very unpleasant to look at but that’s what’s in our back alleys. That’s what’s in our street corners.

What do you think of Edmonton’s Twitter community?

MARK: It’s a very dynamic group. The diversity of followers within Edmonton is really amazing. I’ve become somewhat addicted to that. Some of them make me very angry, some of them make me very sad, and some of them make me very thrilled. I just enjoy going through that emotional rollercoaster when I log onto Twitter and read people’s timelines.

@MarkCherrington Tweets of the Week:

The most import outcome of any youth employment program isn’t a pay cheque, but knowing somebody believes in them. No matter what!

Wanted: patient, understanding employer who’d work unconditionally with a homeless girl. Disap, frustration & angst a given. Outcome- Hope.

22yr girl calls, thx me for hangin’ onto her “house”(property) while in jail for 9 months. ID, pictures, $, clothing. Care about her!

16yr girl preg. Mom/dad in jail, wants to make it on her own without child welfare. I think she can do it, very focused. Good for her!

It’s the subtle aspects of Youth Work I really love. A coffee, a laugh, a tear.

Click here to read the column on the Edmonton Sun website!

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