The Rotary Club of Lloydminster is offering Canadian youth a chance to learn more about their political system. The Rotary Adventure in Citizenship Program is giving youth aged 16-18 a chance to travel to Ottawa from April 28 to May 1. Those chosen to visit the capital will learn more about Canadian history and politics while meeting with political leaders.
The program is open to youth who are Canadian citizens. It’s administered by Ottawa’s Rotary Club and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lloydminster, who cover the cost of travel and accommodations. Local Rotary Club member Jason Whiting says the club selects a youth who shows leadership in and outside of school. Applicants also submit an essay about what being Canadian means to them.
“We’re asking, what does being a Canadian citizen mean to you? Through that essay we hope to get a little bit more of an idea of this individual and choose one we think is deserving to take part in this program,” says Whiting. Applicants will also be interviewed and the one selected will be decided by the Rotary Club of Lloydminster. While on the adventure, Whiting says there is an in-depth experience.
“Four days, keynote speakers dealing with the history of Canada. A tour of the parliament buildings on day two, a tour of the University of Ottawa on day three and some indigenous topics there. Then on day four, sitting with the Citizenship Court where they have the chance to witness new Canadians receive their citizenship.”
Throughout this, the selected candidate will also have the chance to network with peers from across the country. The program has run over the years offering young people a chance to develop leadership skills. Eighteen-year-old Rhianna McCaffrey was selected for last year’s program and says she was lucky to spend almost five days in Ottawa.
“It was an opportunity to meet like-minded youth from all across Canada and experience what the Canadian government is, and our role as citizens of Canada to represent our country in a way that’s positive and can make an impact,” says McCaffrey. As an alumnus of the program, she says it helped her find inspiration for becoming more involved in politics as she studies law and society.
“Before having gone on the trip, I never really considered taking any political science courses or learning more about the government. Now that I’m in university, I definitely did enrol in more of those government focused classes,” says McCaffrey.
The deadline for applications is February 15. Those interested can contact Jason Whiting through e-mail at [email protected]