Northern Saskatchewan students discover future careers in mentorship program
- Katie Doke Sawatzky | May 10, 2017
Forty high-school students from northern Saskatchewan came down to Regina this week to participate in the Charles Knight Youth Mentorship program offered by the provincial government.
The two-day program is provided by the Provincial Capital Commission, whose mission is to “preserve and strengthen” Saskatchewan culture and heritage by providing opportunities for youth to learn about the province’s history. The purpose of the trip is to expose the students to education and employment opportunities and also teach them about democratic government.
The visit included tours of the University of Regina, First Nations University of Canada and Saskatchewan Polytechnic. They met with Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Schofield at Government House and the Legislature, where they participated in a mock debate and attended question period. They also visited the RCMP Depot and the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.
“The kids are incredible, they’re awesome,” said Donna Cuddington, senior executive coordinator of the Commission.
Boyd Deschambeault, a Grade 10 student from Cumberland House, said the trip has been adventurous and that his visit to Saskatchewan Polytechnic showed him different kinds of education and careers.
“I come from a small community where it’s like: carpentry, engineer or miner, but coming here it’s opened my eyes to so many more things,” he said. “Like I never thought nursing would be so hands on. I thought it would be more taking notes and thinking through scenarios, but there’s actually like live mannequins here and they blink and they breathe.”
Students came from 11 communities to take part in the program. Some flew into Prince Albert from Fond du Lac, Black Lake and Stoney Rapids, while others drove down with chaperones. Everyone travelled by coach bus to Regina.
Deschambeault was quick to answer with a highlight from the trip.
“Besides eating, it’s been connecting and making more friends,” he said. The students stayed in residence at the U of R and got to use the gym and swimming pool.
In school, Deschambeault likes science and math and said he’s interested in becoming an engineer. Because of his trip down south, he’s now adding police officer and firefighter to that list.
Students submitted a 250-word essay about their leadership roles in their schools in order to be picked for the program. For educators, the hope is that the trip to Regina will encourage the students to keep pursuing education.
“It is an energetic and exciting educational experience that promotes life-long learning,” said Aaron Fosseneuve, Charlebois Community School vice principal, in a press release.