Give youth a voice visioning session in 2013.
Give youth a voice visioning session in 2013.

By: Korie Marshall

Changes are coming for a pilot program for youth in the Valemount area. A year into the program, Valemount’s Give Youth A Voice will be transitioned to management by the Valemount Learning Centre. The Learning Centre hopes to have a new youth coordinator in place by September, and will be having another brainstorming session with community youth soon after.

The original Give Youth A Voice program was started under a pilot program from Columbia Basin Trust, the Community Directed Youth Fund, which focuses on increasing activities, services and opportunities for youth aged 12-19. The grant was originally coordinated by Dorthe Flauer and administered by the Village of Valemount, and the first year saw a number of activities organized, like an outdoor movie night, softball games, a Halloween event, a cat-skiing trip, and grant-writing mentorship. A news release from the Village and CBT says Flauer had to step down due to other commitments, and the Learning Centre will be taking over administration of the program.

Riette Kenkel, Executive Director for the Valemount Learning Centre, says the new Youth Coordinator position will be posted in August, and the hiring committee will include members of the local youth community. She says the program will continue to be driven by youth, and the centre hopes to collaborate with other youth-related programs in the community. There will be another brainstorming meeting, soon after the Youth Coordinator is hired, to see if there are new ideas and concerns since the last brainstorming meeting.

Kenkel says the position will be a part time staff position at the Learning Centre. Although the Coordinator will spend most of his or her time out of the office working with youth, they can be contacted through the Centre’s email and phone systems, and she hopes to have some set hours one day per week when the Youth Coordinator will be in the office.

“It is a new position for us, so we’ll see how it unfolds,” says Kenkel. “The most important thing now is to find the right person who has a strong connection with youth in the community.”

Youth are encouraged to contact the Valemount Learning Centre to find how they can become involved in this program.