Hundreds of West Kootenay students gathered in the Cominco Arena on Wednesday for the busy and engaging Youth Empowerment Summit.
Whether it was testing out the beer goggles, taking a leap into the jumping castle or experimenting with new technologies, J.L. Crowe Secondary Grade 9 student Indea D’aigle says she sees the summit as a chance for students to explore.
“I think it is an amazing opportunity for kids our age, especially students who don’t have an opportunity like this at home,” she said during the event.
“If they don’t have someone to look up to like a mentor to help them get where they want to go, it gives them a well-rounded idea of a lot of different options and ideas for paths they can choose in their lives.”
Public speakers and booths were set up throughout the arena, while students from Trail, Rossland, Castlegar, Nelson and Grand Forks looked at different career paths and even played a few games.
J.L. Crowe guidance counsellor Loretta Jones was instrumental, along with student committees, in putting the event together with the RCMP and AM Ford and seeing the planning all come together was exciting.
“We tried to create an event that would be effective for the whole school and also involve our whole community and I can’t say enough about everyone that has helped put this together,” she said.
“Teck had a wonderful presentation about work opportunities for women, which was just awesome. I think it has been a great day.”
This is the second Youth Empowerment Summit put on by J.L. Crowe, and organizers are hoping to make it even bigger next year.
“I would love to see more participation from other schools in the region,” said Jones. “We have a team of kids from Stanley Humphries, a bunch from Grand Forks and from L.V. Rogers in Nelson. Next year it would be great to get even more. Make it big, big, big.”
Trail Mayor Mike Martin stopped by the summit for a smoothie and to check out the displays and presentations.
“I think a day like this is really an opportunity for students to live the experience of some others that have some knowledge beyond the boundaries of our region,” he said.
“It is about sharing with the students a possibility of dreams. The fact that there are a number of venues here talking about different opportunities, and all the networking and engagement is very exciting.”