|More than 350 Youth In Policing (YIP) students and their friends from all over Ontario gathered on July 24 for the Ripple Effect Youth Forum in Ajax for a day of leadership-building sessions and dynamic guest speakers. |
The teens were sent to different workshops throughout the day, hosted by the Durham Regional Police, Dan Carter and Harmony Movement. At the DRPS one, Csts. Henderson, Swaine and Richards spoke about the problems affecting teens such as drugs and mental illness and took suggestions on what DRP can do to help. The YIP students also came up with ideas on what steps they could take to help youth in their community. The group got to know our officers outside of the uniform and shared a few laughs when students volunteered for a demonstration on what they would do if they were an officer in a tricky situation.
Chief Constable Mike Ewles kicked off the event by speaking about the importance of eliminating youth issues and sticking together. Other motivational speakers at the event included Scott Hammell, an illusionist, escape artist and four-time Guinness World Record holder, Dwayne Morgan, a professional spoken word artist producing five albums and author of six books, Dan Carter, television host and recipient of the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medallion and Michel Chikwanine, a former child soldier who has captured the attention of national media. Together, they inspired students to surpass their fears, find their passion in life and help each other out to build a stronger community.
Students had the opportunity to mingle and meet new friends from different policing groups and create relationships with police officers. DRP students lead the group in a fun dance that had everyone joining in. Teens left the forum feeling more confident in themselves and in their ability to help solve issues in their community.
Durham Region YIP students were joined by: Caledon, St. Thomas, Guelph, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Brockville, Peel, Kingston, Belleville, Hamilton, York, Deep River, Halton, Rama, Toronto, London and Gananoque.