Summit for future leaders

Applications are due for the Youth Impact Summit open to students in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

Only two days are left to apply for the Youth Impact Summit, a free weekend conference open to all students in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

The summit, offered by the Haney Rotary Club, is designed to inspire future leaders in the community.

Only 70 spots are open to teens in Grades 10-12 from any of the local high schools, Katzie First Nation and home schooled students.

It’s all about your legacy, explained Keesha Rosario, chair of the youth services for the Rotary Club of Haney.

“Helping them realize their dreams no matter what their challenges,” said Rosario.

“We just want to take them away, empower them and help them realize their strengths. Then put them back in the community and have them prosper and catapult themselves,” she said.

Candidates of all different personalities are encouraged to apply. It doesn’t matter what their leadership skills are, or if they are shy or outgoing, if they have personal challenges at home or financial barriers to overcome.

For Rosario, piloting this project has a deeper significance for her as she benefitted from something similar in Ontario when she was in Grade 10.

“I thought I would love to do this because I came from a single parent home, had some alcohol abuse in my younger years and I also had a big sister through Big Sisters and Big Brothers,” said Rosario.

Applications are available online at www.rmyouth.com where there is an easy form to fill out along with a few questions about what their hopes for the future may be or what their legacy may be.

Those that are selected will be staying at the Zajac Ranch in Mission from November 28-30 where they will participate in group activities and projects aimed at developing their individual strengths.

They will also learn how to work alongside others with different personalities.

There will be key speakers ranging in age from 15-to-25 years old who will be be talking about challenges they have faced with disabilities, overcoming adversity and volunteers who have created legacies.

Rosario is hoping students come out of the weekend with a greater sense of self esteem and confidence and she is certain that it will open up doors of possibilities and opportunities.

“It will connect them to Rotary members and leaders within our own community in areas and facets of life that they would be interested in, whether it be arts or their future career or an idea that they’ve thought of,” she said.

Food, accommodation and registration expenses for the Summit are being funded by the Founder’s Cup Charity Foundation.

October 22 is the deadline for applications.

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