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  "If we want to make a difference tomorrow, it starts with what we do today..."

Aug 19, 2016 13:00 ET

The Durham Regional Police Service Youth In Policing (YIP) Program 2016 held its graduation ceremony at Eastdale Collegiate high school in Oshawa Thursday night.

The DRPS Pipes and Drums helped kick off the ceremony and the 60 graduating students (along with five Team Leaders and one Program Coordinator) showed team building spirit with YIP chants and encouraging support for each other.

Deputy Chief Jaswal welcomed the crowd of proud parents and family members who were in attendance to watch the ceremony. And in her final act as YIP Program Coordinator, Jessica Bender spoke about empowering yourself to impact your community: "If we want to make a difference tomorrow, it starts with what we do today."

The YIP students, who range in age from 14 to 18, spent time with DRPS developing their leadership skills while learning about the crucial role both youth and police play in the community. Students are given an opportunity to visit a number of police units including Canine, Robbery, Fraud, Homicide, Surveillance and the Tactical unit.

The youth participated in several events during the eight weeks they spent together and some of the events included the Ripple Effect Youth Forum and the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nations Pow Wow ceremony. At the Junior Youth In Policing Camp, they mentored younger kids as every YIP was paired with a child aged 10 to 13 years of age.

A highlight for this year's program is the days they spent at a Habitat for Humanity build site in Oshawa. The youth were able to get hands on experience, while helping this excellent community program.

The YIP students were also involved in multiple fundraisers including the Build a Backpack initiative, car wash fundraiser and cancer fundraiser. The also received certificates in First Aid, CPR, Harmony, Diversity Training, CALM and Highway Safety.

The graduates were asked to move forward into the second phase of the YIP initiative which meant going back to their respective community and sharing all the wonderful leadership skills they learned during the eight weeks.

Congratulations to everyone that helped to make the summer a true success.

Below are attached files.
YIP Graduation (JPG file, 339.0K bytes)
Group of YIP (JPG file, 831.5K bytes)
Deputy Chief Jaswal (JPG file, 969.2K bytes)
Program Leader Jessica Bender (JPG file, 2,217.2K bytes)
Pipe and Drums (JPG file, 792.1K bytes)