On March 31, 2021, the Coasters Association and its partners, the Centre de services scolaires du Littoral and the CISSS de la Côte Nord, hosted the Virtual Coastal Youth Summit with forty (40) secondary students along the Lower North Shore. Those in attendance were St. Paul’s School, St. Augustine School, Kegaska School, and Harrington School. Netagamiou School in Chevery and Mécatina School in La Tabatière watched the recording later and sent notes to the Coasters Association.
The Youth Summit, a half-day session starting in the morning, was held to understand and acknowledge the important role youth play in the sustainability and development of our region. The forum began with a socio-economic profile of the Lower North Shore by Kayla Kippen, Senior Manager of Operations at the Coasters Association, and Latesha Fequet, Place aux Jeunes Migration Agent. Their presentation highlighted the potential for economic growth and employment opportunities for youth in the region while encouraging the possibilities of a ‘life without compromise’ mentality.
Following the presentation, the youth participated in a breakout session to engage their opinions and suggestions on regional challenges on the Lower North Shore, such as employment diversity, population decline, reasons behind youth migration, etc.
Before a brief break, Darcy Letemplier, Vice-President of Hypertec, presented the new and innovative uses of technology in modern society and its potential for the Lower North Shore. With the recent installation of cell phone service and high-speed internet, the youth were engaged to discuss the impact that technology can/will have on the region.
The Youth Summit presented a Youth Panel of four (4) young professionals on the Lower North Shore to conclude the session. The panel included Michael Sheppard, founder and president of Pêcheries Petit Havre in Lourdes de Blanc-Sablon; Katie Roberts, Administrative Agent for the MRC du Golfe-du-Saint-Laurent in Chevery; Kristopher Fequet, Project Manager at Steel River Group in St. Paul’s River; and Michael Lambert, Journalist for CJTB Radio in Tête à la Baleine. After a series of questions to each panellist, the session opened up to all participants to question the panellists on their employment, industry, factors that brought them back to the Lower North Shore.
This event reinforced the belief that youth are vital to the success and sustainability of the Lower North Shore. Their creative and innovative ideas, critical thinking, and realistic perspective shine a new light on old debates. It conveyed the importance of the consistent inclusion of young people in their communities. We must continue the conversation and always engage the next generation of Lower North Shore leaders.
For more information on the Coastal Youth Summit, please contact Honlee Etheridge, Assistant Manager of Marketing and Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org
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