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This article was published 11/3/2019 (483 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Charlotte Mahoney-Volk is relishing her new ambassadorial role.
The 16-year-old Collège Jeanne-Sauvé student is among 31 students who have been selected to be a 2019 EF Canadian Youth Ambassador, which is an initiative organized by EF Educational Tours. Mahoney-Volk is one of two Manitoba residents selected as an ambassador this year. Annika Brown is the other.
Organizers say the program empowers students to identify an issue they’re passionate about in their community, propose an idea to solve it, and ultimately create social change on a national and global scale. The immersive program is designed to help students build the skills necessary to help foster social change. The main objectives of the program are to develop global citizenship, create social change, and foster passion.
As part of the program, the St. Vital resident will take part in an international service learning trip later this month, attend some action planning workshops in Toronto, and travel to Ottawa in May to attend Parliament and receive mentorship from a number of MPs and senators. As well, Charlotte Mahoney-Volk has created a book filled with interviews and photographs of young people in her community sharing what they’re passionate about, and their perspectives on the world. Her goal is to inspire others, and show what her generation is capable of, she said.
"I began thinking about youth, and how some young people’s opinions can be put to one side," Mahoney-Volk said, noting the idea for the book took root when she spent a semester at Nelson McIntyre Collegiate doing the project-based learning program Propel. "Obviously, I’m a youth right now, and I know many teenagers, and I think it’s important that our opinions are considered just as valid as those of adults. I’m also a fan of photography."
To select a dozen interview candidates for the book, Mahoney-Volk asked prospective interviewees to fill out a form asking them to list several things they’re passionate about, and then pick one they feel comfortable talking about. The results were interesting and wide-ranging, Mahoney-Volk said, and the subjects included mental health, the environment, artificial intelligence, and Indigenous advocacy and culture.
Facing pages in the book are dedicated to each interviewee — one page features their portrait, and the other features several paragraphs of text that capture the essence of their interview.
Mahoney-Volk is humble in light of the fact she was selected from a significant number of applicants, and she feels honoured to have been chosen as an ambassador this year.
"The day I got the email informing me was actually the day of my last Propel presentation, so it was very overwhelming," she said.
"Interviewing people for the book — people that will be our future leaders — gave me a lot of hope for the future, and it helped broaden my horizons and give me a new understanding. In many ways, any young person can be a youth ambassador if they believe in something, and this is a good example of that."
Go online at www.eftours.ca for more information.
Community journalist — The Lance
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Call him at 204-697-7111
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Updated on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 9:35 AM CDT: Updates website URL for EF Educational Tours.