Shuswap Youth Launch Team members Claire Waite, Abbigail Paetsch, Mikayla Wilkinson, Brynn Gowen and Caillie Hay-Vicars pause for a picture on the day of the Shuswap Youth Launch interactive event, Thursday, Feb. 25. (Contributed)

Shuswap Youth Launch Team members Claire Waite, Abbigail Paetsch, Mikayla Wilkinson, Brynn Gowen and Caillie Hay-Vicars pause for a picture on the day of the Shuswap Youth Launch interactive event, Thursday, Feb. 25. (Contributed)

Shuswap youth over the moon with success of interactive event

Salmon Arm youth team invited to apply for $100,000 grant

A team of Shuswap youth are over the moon following the success of their virtual leadership event.

Approximately 850 people participated in Shuswap Youth Launch, an interactive event created by youth (ages 15 to 22), for youth, held online on Thursday, Feb. 25.

The event was organized by the Shuswap Youth Launch Team, whose members range in age from 15 to 22 and include Mikayla Wilkinson, Abbigail Paetsch, Caillie Hay-Vicars, Brynn Gowan, Claire Waite, Maggie Beckner and Dayton Massey.

For Mikayla, Shuswap Youth Launch wound up having a far greater reach than anticipated, with schools throughout B.C., in Alberta and even Washington state taking part. It featured inspirational talks from guest speakers including: Canadian poet, TED Talk and We Day veteran Wali Shah; former NHL’er Corey Hirsch; author, activist and empowerment coach Ashley Bendiksen; and successful Salmon Arm entrepreneur Missy MacKintosh, founder of MisMacK Clean Cosmetics.

The team will be sending surveys to participating schools for input on the event. But Mikayla and Abbigail are thrilled with the feedback they’ve received so far from speakers and participants. One response came from a mom who wanted to share how excited her son, a Grade 6 student, was to be online with Hirsch.

“He’s a hockey player so that was pretty cool for him,” said Mikayla. “His mom asked him, ‘what did you learn?’ He told his mom he learned it’s OK to ask for help, that you shouldn’t be scared to ask for help, and that mental health is OK. And I think that was really cool, that he’s in Grade 6 and he learned such a valuable lesson which a lot of adults still need to recognize…”

Read more: Uplifting appeal of upcoming Shuswap Youth Launch event attracts Olds College audience

Read more: Shuswap youth excited to launch inspiring virtual event

“Just one kid recognizing that, or one kid getting something out of this, made the entire event worth it,” added Abbigail.

The event was funded with a $15,000 grant from RBC. It was also supported by the Shuswap Community Foundation, the Rotary Club of Salmon Arm and School District 83.

Prior to the event, the Shuswap Youth Launch team received some exciting news – they’d been invited to apply for a $100,000 grant through the RBC Future Launch Community Challenge program.

“We are hoping we can get that grant and that will help us,” said Mikayla. “But even if we don’t get the grant, we do want to keep going and we’ll look for support from our community and everything like that.”

Despite the work involved to put on the event – over and above school requirements for some, Mikayla and Abbigail said they and their teammates are committed to bringing Shuswap Youth Launch back in 2022. The two would like to see a hybrid event next year, with a theatre audience in addition to online participation.

“That night after Shuswap Youth Launch, when we were getting all the emails saying ‘relax, you can take a breather,’ we were studying for two tests and trying to finish two projects,” said Mikayla.

“And a lab,” said Abbigail, adding the team is dedicated and will make the time for it to work.

“We really want to stress that we’re going to keep it authentic, keep it real, keep youth MC’ing it. That’s really important,” said Mikayla.

More information about the event can be found on the Shuswap Youth Launch Facebook page.

@SalmonArm
lachlan@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon Arm

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
Kootenay-Columbia MP pans federal budget

Conservative Rob Morrison says budget doesn’t have a plan for long-term spending priorities

A view of the Jordan River from the trail in the area, during the summer. There are two new gravel pits up for consideration by the province. The area is deemed to be ecologically sensitive. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
LETTER: When did Revelstoke become gravel pit central?

Two new gravel pits are being proposed near the Jordan River

Photo: pixabay.com
Morning Start: Why do dogs like squeaky toys?

Your morning start for Tuesday, April 20, 2021

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Kate Budau’s flat tire outside of Glenmore Elementary School on Monday. (Contributed)
Kelowna mom searches for Good Samaritans who helped her change a tire

Woman looking for two dads who helped her after her tire popped in the Glenmore Elementary School drop-off area on Monday

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Most Read