For the third year in a row, the Durham Regional Youth in Policing program successfully held its Ripple Effect Youth Forum on July 27 at Milestone Community Centre in Ajax. Students from Durham, Halton, Rama, Brockville, Guelph, Peel, York, Toronto, Hamilton and London were in attendance.
The Ripple Effect is an open forum with which the DRPS hopes to inspire young people to make a positive impact in their community. Just as one drop of water can cause a ripple, one person can make a difference and inspire change for many.
Students in attendance had the opportunity to participate in three workshops which encouraged leadership and communication skills. The Harmony Diversity Training workshop brought forth issues such as influences from the media, stereotypes and discrimination. Drum Café was another workshop that taught the students how to express themselves through music. The third workshop was Police and Youth Issues where topics on bullying, alcohol and drugs were discussed with DRP officers and civilians.
Students also listened to a line-up of dynamic guest speakers. Dwayne Morgan, a spoken word artist, encouraged students to have respect for women and to live everyday as if you were dying. Rick Ball, a disabled marathon runner, lost his leg in a tragic motorcycle accident when he was 21. He began running three years ago, at the age of 41, with a special prosthetic leg which has allowed him to compete in various races. He now holds three world records and is a part of Team Canada.
“People used to say, look at that guy participating. Now they say we have to beat him!” said Ball. “I have learned to turn my disability into an ability.”
Renowned music producer Sol Guy, spoke to the students about his journey and using the entertainment business as a vehicle for social change. After a life changing trip to Sierra Leone, he walked away from numerous of high profile clients in order to figure out how he could make a difference.
“You don’t have to go halfway around the world to make a difference, you can do it in your own neighbourhood,” said Sol Guy. “Each person has the unique ability to share their experience. It’s up to you and you alone to make it happen.”
The event was a great success with over 300 people in attendance. DRPS hopes to continue running this event for many years to come!
For more information about the Ripple Effect or the DRPS Youth in Policing Program, please contact Youth in Policing Coordinator Katie Zeppieri at (905) 579-1520 ext. 4386
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Sol Guy with Youth in Policing Students (JPG file, 422.7K bytes)
Rick Ball, marathon runner (JPG file, 712.6K bytes)
Drum Cafe (JPG file, 451.1K bytes)
Sgt. Hamilton receives a henna tattoo from a YIP student (JPG file, 404.2K bytes)
Sgt. Patrick eating lunch with YIP students (JPG file, 440.6K bytes)