Local 'promising youth leader' off to Ottawa

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May 10, 2016 11:27 AM

Holy Rosary High School student Jessica MacDonald is attending the ACTIVATE Leadership Forum in Ottawa this month, after some ecnouragement from Ashley Fullarton, her physical education teacher.

One community-minded youth has been selected to go to Canada’s capitol to take part in an ACTIVATE Leadership Forum, where she’ll pick up tools and knowledge to bring home and improve life for the sporting set in Lloydminster.

That youth is Holy Rosary High School student Jessica MacDonald, Grade 11, who detailed how she’d improve recognition for basketball in Lloydminster in her application letter.

“They gave me a whole bunch of questions to answer, like how I could help my community and what not; so it’s basically me getting involved with my community and the youth athletics,” she said.

“One of the plans I wrote on the paper is how football-heavy the community is, and being a female growing up in a football heavy community, playing basketball, I’m not recognized a lot so I plan on trying to get more sports around Lloyd recognized.”

According to its website, ACTIVATE Leadership Forums bring promising youth leaders with different backgrounds from different communities together to become inspired, educated, and empowered to make a difference in their community.

Through different workshops and activities derived from Motivate Canada’s Youth Driven Development (YDD) Curriculum, trained youth volunteers teach delegates how to use sport, physical activity, and goal-setting to improve their lives and the lives of other youth.

MacDonald heard about ACTIVATE through her physical education teacher, Ashley Fullarton, who’d attended the conference herself back in 2009.

Last year, Fullarton encouraged MacDonald to give it a thought, though she was a year shy of eligibility at the time, but this year MacDonald applied and is one of 50 Canadian students who get to make the trip to Ottawa.
“The whole conference is for youth by youth, and the entire conference is made by ACTIVATE alumni who have already gone through the program and run the whole thing for all the new people coming in,” said Fullarton.
“It’s all physical activity, recreation and sports to get people involved in their communities back home.”

Two of the aspects of the trip MacDonald said she’s looking forward to most is seeing Ottawa for the first time and meeting new people.
She joked about how shy she used to be and how she’s breaking out of her shell, so to speak, and is excited to meet some likeminded students from around the country.

“I’m growing into a fine woman and I’m going to meet so many people that are like me,” MacDonald said with a good dose of humour.
“(I’ll) meet my kind of people that want to do things that I would want to do—my crowd is what I’m trying to say.”

The conference takes place from May 11 to 15 and MacDonald plans to bring what she learned back with her, where she’ll share it with the Holy Rosary’s student leadership council next year.

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