A Salmon Arm-based leadership conference founded by students for students is set to return in April.
Shuswap Youth Launch returns for its third year on Thursday, April 27. The event will once again be held at the Salmar Classic while being streamed live online. This year’s Youth Launch guest speakers include poet and motivational speaker Wali Shah, who will be talking about mental health and toxic masculinity; author, podcast host and youth speaker Sam Demma, who will be speaking about bullying and resilience; and Salmon Arm entrepreneur Missy Mackintosh, who will talk about following your dreams and passions.
Shuswap Youth Launch Committee members, Mikayla Wilkinson, Abbi Paetsch, Cadyn Moraice and Shaun Billey, all Salmon Arm Secondary students, gave a presentation about the upcoming event at the March 14 school board meeting.
Wilkinson explained the event, in its third year, is a free program that gives youth the opportunity to enjoy a leadership conference without having to travel.
Last year’s Youth Launch brought Olympians Sarah Wells and Avalon Wasteneys, Simpcw First Nation Two-Spirit model and makeup artist Joey Roo, and entrepreneur and Haven Sleep Products founder Scott Amis to Salmon Arm. Each of the guest speakers took the Salmar Classic stage to share inspirational stories of resilience and achievement with the audience, both in the theatre and online. When they weren’t on stage, the speakers were interacting with students, both online and in person, including at a luncheon held after the event at the Ross Street Plaza.
This year’s Shuswap Youth Launch runs 9:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with the speakers and interactive activities at the Classic followed once more by lunch at the Ross Street Plaza. The event is being sponsored by Salmon Arm’s three Rotary clubs, Community Futures Shuswap, Toliver Advertising & Design and Shuswap Orthodontics, whose staff will once again be helping out with the lunch.
Moraice commented on how Shuswap Youth Launch is amazing for students as well as the inspirational guest speakers, who in the past were inspired by the event and the participating students.
The school board and SD83 Superintendent Donna Kriger were themselves inspired by the Shuswap Youth Launch Committee, who asked that the school district, teachers and principals help get the word out about the April 27 event.
“I want you to know I admire what you’re doing, I know that every one of them (your teachers throughout K-12) would be proud, and I think I speak for every one of them to say it’s amazing you’re doing this work for your peers,” said Kriger to the committee.
To learn more about this year’s Shuswap Youth Launch and the guest speakers, read the Shuswap Youth Launch post on the school district website, sd83.bc.ca.
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