Former CFL lineman Angus Reid with a group of students prior to his talk at the YES2kNOW youth empowerment summit.

Former CFL lineman Angus Reid with a group of students prior to his talk at the YES2kNOW youth empowerment summit.

Student summit soars

Grade 8 and 10 students gathered at Selkirk College for RCMP led youth empowerment summit.

Students from all over the West Kootenay gathered at Selkirk College this week for a day of education and empowerment.

YES2kNOW is a provincial RCMP led initiative that stands for Youth Empowerment Summit 2 Knowledge Now. The summits are held across British Columbia for youth Grade 7-12 depending on each community. The event here included 1200 students from Grades 8 and 10.

The content of each youth engagement summit is guided by the needs and desires of the local community. In the program, conferences are held to discuss topics such as healthy choices, leading a positive lifestyle, social media, conflict resolution, financial perspectives, mental health and choosing a drug-free life.

During the summit, youth engage with local experts such as social workers, prevention workers, counsellors and police in a variety of different ways. “It is a discussion between these experts and the kids to help provide accurate information to make good choices and self empower them,” said local organizer RCMP Cpl. Mart Kooiman.

The keynote speaker for the event was former Canadian Football League offensive lineman Angus Reid who spoke to the kids about having dreams and working to overcome obstacles in order to achieve those dreams.