It was a great afternoon on Saturday as 72 new graduates from the After School Youth In Policing Program celebrated their accomplishments with Chief Ewles, and their family and friends.
Joined by Human Resources members Director Lesley Ford, Manager Danielle Kent-Johnson, A/Sgt. Keith Richards, Cst. Janine Henderson, Cst. Pam Devine and Program Coordinator Hannah Elkington, Chief Ewles bid an emotional farewell to the teens at his last graduation ceremony before he retires. It's been amazing to see how much this program has grown throughout the years," said Chief Ewles. "We challenge the students each and every year, and they always grow into leaders in our community."
This year was no exception as the students honoured the Chief by creating a Leadership Award in his name. Skylar Pine was chosen as the first recipient for his mentorship throughout the 14-week program. Three students, Jamie, Jeyannee, and Chauntae were chosen as class valedictorians, and moved the audience by sharing how much the program meant to them.
Chief Ewles also took to the stage to thank Hannah Elkington for her four years with the program. She started as a student in the summer program, then moved on to be a Team Leader and then the Program Coordinator.
The students, who range in age from 14 to 18, spend time with DRPS developing their leadership skills while learning about the crucial role both youth and police play in the community. Our YIP students gave back to the community in a big way by raising an astounding $7,000 for The Refuge Youth Outreach Shelter in Oshawa.
The program also encourages the teens to share their experiences. After graduating, students act as ambassadors to their communities, and to even consider a future career in policing.
Congratulations to all of our graduates!
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