‘Dream bigger, reach higher’ 0
sean chase firstname.lastname@example.org The Ontario Provincial Police Youth Leadership Course was in Pembroke cleaning up the city’s marina in advance of the arrival of the Communities-in-Bloom judges. In the photo are (front left to right) Keegan Tomasella, Codie Jones, Derrick Neadow, Bryce Pynn, Conrad Neadow, Jeliel Sarazin; (back left to right) mentor Hillary DesRoches, program instructor Constable Merisol Primeau, mentor Neil Montgomery, Ashly Condron, Mary Desjardins, Kristen Levallie, Eric Prarisien, Julia Phannenhour, Katie Barr, program co-sponsor Judy DeGeer and program co-ordinator Constable Jerry Novack. Missing is program co-sponsor Elaine Markell.
Some area youth are spending part of their summer learning how to be tomorrow’s leaders, while helping their community be a better place.
The annual Ontario Provincial Police Youth Leadership Course visited Pembroke to embark on a community service project to clean up public areas in advance of the recent Communities-in-Bloom judges’ visit.
The program is designed to complement regular school academic curriculum to help youth develop life skills, which will prepare them for a successful and rewarding future. It provides a series of indoor workshops and outdoor expeditions to challenge the participants so they can realize their leadership potential.
“Creativity and innovation are rapidly becoming more important in this fast-changing world,” said program co-ordinator Constable Jerry Novack. “We challenge them to dream bigger, reach higher, and to nurture a compassion for people, life and community.”
Participants are required to select, execute and complete a community service project. They plan and carry out the project under the guidance of a team leader. Const. Novack added the youth find themselves stepping outside their comfort zone while practicing the skills they’ve gained from the week-long program.
During the schedule of events, the youth have visited Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s Chalk River Laboratories and received lectures on developing relationships from Bernadette McCann House. They will also head outside to learn orienteering, hike and canoe. The students will also attend a certified first aid course, learning the basic skills needed to reduce shock and contain injuries in an emergency situation.
At the end of the program, students will have enhanced leadership skills, increased awareness of civic participation and more self-confidence, noted Const. Novack.
“Strong youth leadership is a sound investment in the future of Petawawa and Renfrew County,” he said. “The Youth Leadership Course works to motivate and empower youth to be committed to their community.”
For student Katie Barr, the best part of the week was going to AECL where she was impressed with the fire department at the facility. Ms. Barr, who will be attending Fellowes High School next fall, said she’s made a lot of new friends through the course and learned the fundamentals of leadership.
“I’ve been student council president and have been a volunteer,” explained Katie. “Sometimes it’s important to be a follower. If you’re in a group and one person knows how to do something and the others don’t, then it’s good to be quiet and listen.”
Codie Jones, a graduate of Cathedral Catholic School, felt the course taught he and his friends how to work as a team.
“If I’m by myself it’s harder to do something, but if I am with people I trust then it is easier to do stuff,” said Codie.
Sean Chase is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist