Shuswap Youth Launch

Shuswap Youth Launch

Inspiring speakers are on tap for local youth during Shuswap Youth Launch, which is an empowerment day designed for youth aged 13 to 18 from throughout the Shuswap area on February 25, 2021.

The virtual 3.5 hour event will be delivered via Zoom with a powerhouse lineup of guest speakers and interactive activities – and will be offered at no charge to participants – however tickets must be reserved through Eventbrite.

The event has been created by youth to inspire and empower their peers throughout the Shuswap to think outside the box, encourage inclusive thinking, promote mental well-being, build healthy relationships and follow their dreams. Like many things – the youth launch team have had to pivot their delivery method to accommodate current COVID health guidelines. This event was originally scheduled to be an in-person event on April 16, 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic.

The team behind the event have been working together with two Salmon Arm Rotary Club mentors since being awarded the grant in November 2019. The other partner in the project is School District 83. The Shuswap Launch Team includes Abbigail Paetsch (15), Mikayla Wilkinson (15) and Caillie Hay-Vicars (15), Brynn Gowan (15) and Claire Waite (22). Maggie Beckner, and Dayton Massey were also part of the initial planning committee but had to step back due to scheduling conflicts.

The team’s goal is to reach a larger number of local youth with an event designed to motivate and educate teens about the importance of developing leadership skills, increase our local young people’s resilience and social connections, support them to be safe from harms to their health, and to promote healthy attitudes and choices now and into the future.

Event Speakers are:
Wali Shah – is a Canadian speaker, poet, musician and philanthropist. He has spoken most prominently on topics including bullying, mental health and social change, while creating spoken word poetry specifically tailored to his projects and engagements. He has wowed youth audiences at WE Day events in Vancouver and Toronto; given TED talks and performed for people like President Barack Obama.

Corey Hirsch – a former NHL goaltender, NHL goaltending coach, and Olympic silver Medallist, Corey Hirsch was featured in an article in the Players Tribune opening up about his struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder while on the rise to a promising career in the NHL. He has since dedicated himself to ending the stigma of mental health and becoming the National Youth Ambassador for the Center for Addiction and Mental Health.

Ashley Bendiksen – as a survivor of abuse, trauma, homelessness, and loss, Ashley is an expert in abuse prevention and personal development, is a certified life empowerment coach, author, nonprofit founder, and award-winning activist.

Missy MacKintosh – an internationally acclaimed artist with over 15 years of experience. Her work has been featured in multiple publications like Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, and WedLuxe Magazine. She’s also the Founder/CEO of the first Professional Performing Clean Makeup Line – MisMacK Clean Cosmetics. She graduated from Salmon Arm Senior Secondary School and lives in Canoe, BC.

This project is funded through an RBC Future Launch grant of $15,000 – part of a 10-year $500 million commitment to help Canadian youth prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.

The Shuswap Youth Launch team is made up youth aged 15 – 22, partnered with the Salmon Arm Rotary Club as team mentors, and School District 83 as their charitable organization to assist with receiving and dispersing grant funds. Although geared towards youth aged 13 to 18, anyone who would like to participate in the event is invited to join.

Deadline to reserve Eventbrite tickets is February 23rd.
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