Cape Ray youth

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROSALYN ROY Rosalyn.roy@gulfnews.ca Twit­ter: @tyger­lylly

Named to gov­ernemnt ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee

CAPE RAY – Ky Pearce has been named to the pro­vin­cial govern­ment’s youth ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee. The Cape Ray na­tive has been ac­tive in the re­gion from an early age, vol­un­teer­ing with the Com­mu­nity Youth Net­work (CYN) and even­tu­ally sit­ting on the board for the CYN Rec House in Port aux Basques un­til re­lo­cat­ing for school in 2012.

Pearce was ac­tive in stu­dent coun­cil while at­tend­ing St. James Re­gional High School, and sat on the school coun­cil (dis­tinct from the stu­dent coun­cil) as a stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tive for three years, even­tu­ally grad­ing with the pro­vin­cial vol­un­teerism award.

Af­ter that it was onto Gren­fell Cam­pus, Me­mo­rial Uni­ver­sity to com­plete a de­gree in so­cial/ cul­tural stud­ies.

“It was hon­estly one of the best ex­pe­ri­ences of my life and I am com­pletely in love with Gren­fell Cam­pus and every­thing it rep­re­sents,” Pearce wrote via email. “While I was at Gren­fell I spent a lot of time work­ing with the stu­dent union and its sub­sidiary, the Queer cau­cus, which ad­vo­cates for the needs of Queer stu­dents. Pearce is a ded­i­cated ad­vo­cate of fully funded post-sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion for all “be­cause I believe ed­u­ca­tion opens doors for peo­ple and cre­ates new op­por­tu­ni­ties that they would have never even dreamt pos­si­ble.”

For Pearce, those op­por­tu­ni­ties have led to Kingston,

Toronto, and a pres­ti­gious re­search grant to study at Queen’s Uni­ver­sity.

“My mas­ter’s the­sis fo­cuses on the ex­pe­ri­ences of Queer (cap­i­tal Q is in­ten­tional) youth in New­found­land, par­tic­u­larly those who grew up in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties,” Pearce wrote. “My work pays par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to their ex­pe­ri­ences and sto­ries about their lives. The goal of my re­search is to set a prece­dent about how re­search is done with Queer peo­ple in New­found­land, and ideally Canada as a whole.

“I’ll be fin­ish­ing my mas­ter’s de­gree this year. My work is some­thing that I am very pas­sion­ate about as a Queer per­son.”

Pearce was ap­pointed to govern­ment’s youth ad­vi­sory in Septem­ber. Con­sist­ing of 25 youths from around the prov­ince, the group will pro­vide feed­back on pol­icy is­sues, par­tic­u­larly those im­pact­ing youth.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited to be a mem­ber be­cause I have al­ways been very en­gaged with pol­i­tics, and ex­tremely con­cerned about many of the is­sues that peo­ple in this prov­ince face, par­tic­u­larly is­sues re­lat­ing to ed­u­ca­tion, em­ploy­ment, and men­tal health,” said Pearce.

De­spite all that, there is al­ways time to re­turn to Cape Ray and re­con­nect with fam­ily and friends. Thanks to a flex­i­ble grad school sched­ule, and win­ter and sum­mer breaks, Pearce trav­els back to New­found­land of­ten.

“My re­search work also brings me back to the is­land, so I’d say I spend a lot more time in New­found­land, and home, than I ex­pected to be able to.”

And while the future is not yet de­cided, Pearce would love to some­day re­turn per­ma­nently.

“I’d love noth­ing more than to be able to find a ca­reer in my field in the prov­ince, and prefer­ably on the west coast. It would be a dream come true. Sadly at the mo­ment, that does not seem likely, wrote Pearce, who has al­ready be­gun ad­dress­ing that par­tic­u­lar is­sue. “This frus­tra­tion with try­ing find­ing mean­ing work in our field in New­found­land is some­thing that the premier’s youth ad­vi­sory coun­cil has dis­cussed ex­ten­sively.”

DAPHNE BROUWER

Cape Ray na­tive Ky Pearce was ap­pointed to the govern­ment’s youth ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee in Septem­ber.

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