YCC Magazine

Vol.3 #2

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11 T he youth of today are our future; they will be changing the world. That's why we must leave our legacy with youth to learn from our mistakes and continue what works to make our communi- ties a better place. Young minds are continuously becoming more creative and innovative. When given the opportunity to use these skills, youth can solve almost any problem! The Legacy Youth Program at the Rocky Native Friendship Centre in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta is doing exactly that; giving youth opportunities to make a positive impact on the community and their future. The Rocky Native Friendship Centre is dedicated to bringing cultures together. They offer programming for young people of all backgrounds. Their goal is to create a healthy, thriving and culturally connected Indigenous community. The leaders at the Friendship Centre saw that there was a need to implement a youth program that aligned with their vision. That's how the Legacy Youth Program came to be. "Legacy is about leaving positive and memorable experiences for youth and future generations to get inspired from and create their own destinies and ultimately, their own legacies!" Larissa McCarthy, Activities Director of Legacy The program provides a safe, open and supportive environ- ment where youth can be empowered while developing their potential through culture, leadership development, recreation, nutrition and social development skills. The young people who attend the Legacy Youth Program are learning how to become leaders and make a positive impact on their community. The Friendship Centre encourages diversity and sharing histories in order to learn from one another. Larissa McCarthy, Activities Director for Legacy told YCC a little about the program: As Human beings, we are constantly developing our identity which is based on our relationships to relatives, friends, community, geography, language and other social factors. The Legacy Youth Program seeks to create meaningful, lasting change by engaging youth and inspiring them to become leaders and role models within their community. The importance of identity is particularly true for the healthy development of Aboriginal since community and belonging are integral parts of their cultures' belief systems. The Legacy Youth Program aims to help youth recognize their ability to be positive agents of change and leaders in the community. However, to become positive agents of change in their community, it is necessary for youth to be inspired, motivated and hopeful. To the Legacy Youth Program, this means involving youth in the design, implementation, and evaluation of the program, by offering a Legacy Youth Committee. In turn, youth will begin to understand the potential for leadership they have within themselves and the power of change they possess for their community. The team at Rocky Native Friendship Centre are delivering fun, active and safe programming for youth while also delivering them new opportunities! As Larissa stated above, the youth are involved in creating their own programming. Learning about planning and organizing allows the youth to become better leaders. They also focus on issues such as health and wellness to increase the youth's knowledge about good health, nutrition and physical activity. When becoming a community leader it is important to take care of your health to set an example for others. "When I think of legacy, I think of our youth. They are our future leaders, our champions…" RNFC Executive Director Kirby Bigchild On May 17th, 2018 the Legacy Youth Program launched with the help of the Magoo Crew at West Central High and Pioneer Middle Schools. A barbeque was held at the Friendship Centre as well, with more than 70 people turning out! The Legacy Youth Program is definitely a diverse program that will help build leaders of today! PASSING DOWN THE LEGACY

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