About 360 students from grades 6 to 9 took part in the North Thompson – Yes2Know Youth Summit at Dutch Lake Community Centre on May 10 and 11.
Those invited included students from Clearwater, Blue River, Barriere and Chu Chua, as well as all home-schooled students in the area.
“The goal is to empower the youth with knowledge in understanding themselves, their peers, the communities and the world around them,” said one of the organizers. “We want to give them the skills to deal with situations, make safe and healthy choices and mentor others throughout their lives.”
Participants heard keynote speaker Jesse Miller (who talked about social media awareness); recovered addict Luke de Leseluc, Michael Bortolotto (who talked about youth wellness, self confidence and resilience), and Darlene Barriere (who talked about respectful relationships, bullying, etc.).
Local youth groups, services, and activities such as minor ball, 4H, Yellowhead Community Services and Wells Gray Outdoor Club had booths set up around the gym.
Luke de Leseluc also gave an evening presentation about drugs, alcohol and his life experiences that was open to the public.
Sponsors of the event included Wells Gray Community Forest Society, Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society, TNRD Area A (Wells Gray Country), TNRD Area O (Lower North Thompson), Simpcw First Nation, Yellowhead Community Services, Clearwater Rotary Club, and School District 73.
Inset photo: A favorite of many was speaker Michael Bortolotto, who has cerebral palsy.
Below: Recovered addict Luke de Leseluc sings a song he wrote.