Some of the students at David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS) have been doing their best both locally and internationally as the school year winds down.
The DTSS leadership group recently received two grants from the Columbia Basin Youth Grants program.
Offered by Columbia Basin Trust (CBT), the grants support youth-led projects that directly benefit Basin youth (ages 15 to 29) and involve youth in project development, planning and implementation.
“CBT, along with our Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), which adjudicates the grant applications, is excited by the number and quality of applications we received this round,” said Wayne Lundeberg, CBT Director, Youth Initiatives.
The leadership class of Invermere David Thompson Secondary School will receive support for two projects.
The I Am Beautiful workshop received $1,000, and promotes self-esteem and confidence for grade seven girls as well as assists the girls in making a connection with each other and senior girls before they begin high school
Meanwhile the Breakfast Program was given $2,200 which provides breakfast to local middle school students.
This project not only tackles a growing issue of students coming to school hungry but also developing relationships among young people and encouraging volunteering.
“These projects got approved because young people identified what is important to them in their community and took action,” said CBT YAC member Laura Archer.
“Invermere’s two projects are excellent examples of youth coming forward with ideas and working through the whole application process through to project implementation.
“These students and their applications have everything we look for and we are excited to see more applicants like this in our next intake,” added Lundeberg.
Beverley McEwan works with the leadership group at the local high school.
McEwan felt it was important to recognize the amount of time and effort the students put into the grant applications.
“I really feel delighted with the individual and collective will that the students have shown this year. The student initiative this year has knocked me out,” she said.
In another act of volunteering, seven members of the group, along with McEwan, headed to Vancouver to help with the Night in Magical Timbuktu, held by the Canadian Network for International Surgery (CNIS).
The group took a long bus ride for the event where they helped set up the charity event in every aspect of the evening.
Karethe Linaae is the Public Engagement Co-ordinator for the CNIS.
She spoke very fondly of the students who she described as being extremely hard workers.
“We love it. We need help in many different areas and we try to get young people involved in different ways and we are lucky to have this team from Invermere who have come and helped us,” Linaae said.
She went on to say that it is important to see people like the Invermere students care about what you are doing and that the group wished they lived closer so the could come and volunteer more often.
In a release from the CNIS, they explained the event raised almost $18,000, which is nearly 20 per cent of the funds needed to establish West Africa’s first Injury Control Centre.
Holly Glassford was one of the students who went to Vancouver to volunteer and worked on the silent auction, which helped raise a great deal of money for CNIS during the evening event in Vancouver.
“This was my second year going and I have been fundraising for the charity since I was first in leadership. It is good for us to get a hands-on experience volunteering,” Glassford said.
“It feels really rewarding to be doing the fundraising because it gives you a sense of what happens in the charity.”
The overall experience is something McEwan feels the students will take with them in future endeavors.
“The students got to meet the Ambassador from Mali. This is an opportunity that students do not get often. They got to staff the dinner and put in a 14-hour day volunteering. This will help them as they go forward,” she said.