FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Students heard from local professionals on opportunities available in the north, along with basic life skills, at this year’s youth conference.
The Youth Changing Tomorrow conference was held at Northern Lights College on February 23rd by the Youth Advisory Council (YAC).
The conference allowed students to meet and speak with twenty professionals working in the community in a variety of positions, including media, municipal politics, law, agriculture, and nursing.
Community development coordinator for the City of Fort St. John, Naomi Gallant, said one of the conference’s main goals was to highlight different career paths available to students in their home community.
“We’ve got people from the trades, people who have gone to university, people who come back,” Gallant said.
“And one of our panels is people that are in Fort St. John, whether they came back here, grew up here or moved here for opportunities.”
Members of the youth council, Dylan Burch and Owen Lang, explained the importance of showing local youth they have many options for work and a good life in Fort St. John.
“You hear a lot of, as soon as I graduate, I’m never coming back. So [we’re] exposing them to some of the pros of coming back to a small community like Fort St. John because we do talk about the cons so much,” said Lang, the council chair.
Burch also spoke about getting younger students involved and aware of the YAC during the conference.
“It’s really important to start with the younger grades, get them introduced to what we do,” Burch said.
Lang said another major factor in getting younger students involved was to replace the older cohort that is graduating this year.
“I think four of the five [members] are all grade 12. So we’re all graduating next year. So we’re really looking for some grade nines, tens, elevens who are interested in [the council],” Lang said.
“It doesn’t have to be a conference, just some sort of event that exposes youth in our community to the amazing options we have here.”
The Fort St. John YAC is a liaison group with the city with the goal of providing information, resources, and leadership for youths in Fort St. John. To learn more about the YAC, visit the city’s website.
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