Copper Ridge Academy students attending national leadership conference in Ontario
Community supports fundraising efforts
Thanks to a wider community effort that saw students at Copper Ridge Academy in Baie Verte sell upwards of 900 cold plates, eight students and two teachers from the school are now headed to a national leadership conference in Waterloo, Ontario.
Hosted by the Waterloo Region District School Board and Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School, the 33rd Canadian Student Leadership Conference is running from Sept. 26-30.
The trip is possible because of the community support through its fundraising efforts, and now those young leaders hope to give back to their community as a result.
Sam Stuckless, a 16-year-old Level III student at Copper Ridge Academy is “super excited” about representing her school at the conference.
“There will be lots of workshops and guest speakers, and we will be learning about other cultures,” she said prior to leaving her hometown Monday.
She is looking forward to sharing the information with students at her school.
“I hope this (conference) will help with my own leadership skills and help me become more confident in my school community,” she said. “Four or five of us (students graduating in June) will be leaving the school so we want more students to become interested in our (leadership) group.”
Jaime Robin Walsh, another 16-yearold Level III student at Copper Ridge Academy, says “I’m looking forward to learning about things to bring back to the school to change things for the better.”
Students making the trip — from Grades 7-12 — were all members of the school’s leadership committee last year.
Whether you attend school in this province or another part of the country, many of the issues students face are similar.
Promoting anti-bullying initiatives, saying no to drugs and smoking, and providing safe spaces for all students are just some of the issues teens from other areas will relate to, Walsh said.
“We want all students to feel safe and feel welcomed in our school,” she said.
Walsh is proud of Copper Ridge Academy and the numerous events the school’s leadership committee hosts throughout the year. She said the events go over well with the students.
“It’s a great school,” she said. Students attending the conference will be billeted in the host community of Waterloo.
Attending the conference is a great opportunity for students at her school, according to Walsh.
“For students from a Baie Verte school to go to something like this is awesome,” she said. “It’s not very often you see students from the smaller schools go to something like this.”
Opportunity for rural schools
Ryan White is one of two teachers making the trip with the students. He agrees that it’s great for a school from rural Newfoundland to be taking part in the conference.
White, who has participated in the conference in the past, said Newfoundland and Labrador is under represented at the conference and schools that do participate are often from larger centres like St. John’s and Corner Brook.
He said the school is grateful to the community, which came onboard to support various fundraisers to make the trip possible.
“We sold 900 cold plates, we had walka-thons and a spring craft fair with local vendors. We did a Halloween fair and a barbecue,” White said of some of the initiatives undertaken by the students.
The goal of the fundraising efforts was to ensure no student missed out on the opportunity to participate in the conference because of financial challenges.
“We wanted to make sure there were no major out-of-pocket expenses,” the teacher said. “We wanted to make sure when it comes to representing the school and the area that this wasn’t just for people who could afford it rather for any student interested in attending.”
For more information on the conference visit http://cslc2017.studentleadership.ca/
Sam Stuckless is one of the Copper Ridge Academy students attending a national leadership conference in Waterloo, Ont.
Jaime Robin Walsh is one of the Copper Ridge Academy students attending a national leadership conference in Waterloo, Ont.