Fulfilling a dream
Whiteway singer’s obsession with music earns provincial award
“ If you’ve never heard of Lauren George, it will only take one song, and you’ll never forget her,” said Adam Hiscock.
The program co-ordinator for the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) made the remark in his introduction of Lauren as the winner of the Excellence in Artistic Achievement award during the annual Youth Ventures awards ceremony held Aug. 17 at the Harbour Breeze in Harbour Grace.
A Level II student at Crescent Collegiate in Blaketown, Lauren is the daughter of Roger and Debbie George of Whiteway.
Hiscock, who hosted the event, said Lauren “has been causing goose bump epidemics everywhere she sings.”
Her debut album, Obsession, features original songs about teenage love and friendships. Lauren wrote eight of the 12 songs on her album.
Not expecting the award, the 16year-old told The Compass: “I feel I’m finally fulfilling a dream I’ve had in my mind since I was five years old.” The multi-talented musician, who plays guitar, piano and clarinet, said after high school she plans to study law.
Lauren was one of nine young entrepreneurs from around the province who picked up awards during the Youth Ventures 13th annual awards luncheon, which attracted close to 100 participants.
Hiscock noted this summer 22 Youth Ventures site co-ordinators around the province have helped more than 160 youth plan, start and run a business.
Youth Ventures was established to help foster the entrepreneurial spirit in the province’s youth. Working with young people from the planning stage through to start-up and while the business is operating, site coordinators help businesses be successful. Each year, Youth Ventures presents awards to some of the top achievers involved in the program.
Youth Ventures is a youth-based initiative sponsored by the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of CBDCs and funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the provincial Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment.
CBDCs are a n e two r k o f autonomous, not-for-profit organizations that work in cooperation with all levels of government and the private sector to meet the needs of small business.
Very pleased to see a young artist from this region pick up a provincial award, Stan Reid, vice-chairman of the association of CBDCs, said Youth Ventures is a “ very important program, which gives youth the opportunity to start businesses with our support and counselling.”
Referring to the young entrepreneurs as “our future,” Reid said, “ we want to support them in any way we can.”
Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, described the province’s $80,000 commitment to Youth Ventures for this year as, “a small price to pay for the return we receive.”
When we see people as young as 13 start on their journey in business, Sullivan suggested, “it’s inspiring to see young people involved at such an early age.”
Impressed with the young entrepreneurs in the room, Carbonear-Harbour Grace MHA and Health Minister Jerome Kennedy told them, “you’re so far ahead of me when I was your age.”
Paraphrasing Dr. Seuss, Kennedy ssaid, “if you work hard enough and believe in yourself, the sky is the limit.”
Added Senator Fabian Manning: “ In addition to your own personal growth as business owners, you have all made contributions to your community.”
And that’s why the federal government, through ACOA, has supported the Youth Ventures Program for the past 18 years, he said.