Stu­dent is Canada’s rep at int’l DARE con­fer­ence

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - FRONT PAGE - RON GRECH

Alexya Raci­cot was do­ing a co-op place­ment with the Tim­mins Po­lice Ser­vice a year ago when Const. Rick Lemieux re­al­ized the gem of a stu­dent who was work­ing along­side him.

“She was part of the co-op pro­gram with Tim­mins Po­lice, and she spent one of the weeks with me go­ing to classes, and then she was re­quest­ing to come to the schools with me,” re­called Lemieux, who teaches the DARE (Drug Abuse Re­sis­tance Ed­u­ca­tion) pro­gram at schools across the city. “No­body (do­ing co-op place­ment) re­quests that.

“Nor­mally, they re­quest to go on the road and be with the road of­fi­cers.”

But 16-year-old Raci­cot, who has as­pi­ra­tions to be­come a po­lice of­fi­cer, demon­strated a keen in­ter­est in the DARE pro­gram and a de­sire to work with youths.

“Just see­ing her in the class­room with the kids and she was part of the group, she was help­ing out in class, and I thought, ‘Man, this is some­body I want rep­re­sent­ing this pro­gram.’”

When Lemieux was asked to nom­i­nate a stu­dent to be the first Cana­dian to sit on the In­ter­na­tional Youth Ad­vi­sory Board for DARE, the choice to him was ob­vi­ous.

“She was the first one who came to my mind.”

The fact Raci­cot “was se­lected over everybody else in Canada, speaks vol­umes about her as a per­son, of our pro­gram and this com­mu­nity,” said Lemieux.

Since her ap­point­ment to the ad­vi­sory board in March 2017, Raci­cot has at­tended in­ter­na­tional DARE con­fer­ences in Texas and Hawaii.

Early next year, she will be Canada’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Stock­holm, Swe­den at the 2018 World Fed­er­a­tion Against Drugs event.

raci­cot, who joined lemieux dur­ing a dare pre­sen­ta­tion at École catholique anicet-morin on Tues­day, said one of the ob­jec­tives of the youth ad­vi­sory board is to help po­lice of­fi­cers who are teach­ing dare to gain in­sights on youths’ in­ter­ests.

The Grade 12 stu­dent is look­ing for­ward to at­tend­ing the con­fer­ence in stock­holm and hopes it will help pad her al­ready im­pres­sive re­sumé.

“it’s go­ing to open many doors be­cause i also want to be a po­lice of­fi­cer when i grow up. i want to teach dare also so it opens a lot of doors for me, and i’m re­ally ex­cited to share my pas­sion for the dare pro­gram.”

lemieux said with the dare pro­gram be­ing so well re­ceived in this com­mu­nity, he is cur­rently in dis­cus­sions with Tim­mins high school prin­ci­pal to of­fer a newly de­vel­oped dare pro­gram de­signed for Grade 10 stu­dents.

“i be­lieve in Tim­mins, the dare pro­gram we run here is sec­ond to none in the world,” said lemieux. “We have sup­port from all the schools, we have sup­port from ev­ery prin­ci­pal, we have

I be­lieve in Tim­mins, the DARE pro­gram we run here is sec­ond to none in the world.”

Const. Rick Lemieux

sup­port from the en­tire com­mu­nity, and we’re able to run the pro­gram the way it’s sup­posed to be run. We do the Grade 6 pro­gram, we do the Grade 8 pro­gram, and we’re look­ing at start­ing the Grade 10 pro­gram.

“it’s a pro­gram that con­tin­ues where we left off in Grade 8, where we talk about peer pres­sure and stress ... it’s kind of a way to show that these lit­tle choices that you make can have a huge im­pact on where you’re go­ing to be in your fu­ture.”

he said it is a two-les­son pro­gram with some ex­er­cises that can be com­pleted on­line so there is a lot of flex­i­bil­ity to work around high school stu­dents’ sched­ules.

lemieux said if he gets ap­proval, the plan would be to launch the pro­gram in Jan­uary.

RON GRECH/TIM­MINS Daily Press/post­media net­work

Alexya Raci­cot, of Tim­mins, is Canada’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the In­ter­na­tional Youth Ad­vi­sory Board for DARE. She is seen here speak­ing to Grade 6 stu­dents dur­ing a DARE pre­sen­ta­tion at École catholique Anicet-morin on Tues­day.

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