On Wednesday, July 19, several hundred Youth in Policing (YIP) students from across the province gathered in Oshawa for a full day of inspirational messages from a diverse group of people they can share and forward on in their communities.
Now in its ninth year, the Ripple Effect forum was created by DRP YIP students with the goal of hearing what teens have to say about youth issue issues and to give them an opportunity to form specific plans of action, eliminate negative issues and bring these solutions back to their schools and community.
DRP Deputy Chief Chris Fernandes said that by showing up, each person can make a long-lasting, positive difference.
"You made the effort to visit us in Oshawa and are ready to participate and listen to our amazing speakers who have faced challenges, overcome obstacles and reached their goals and are inspiring others to lead by example," he said.
Throughout the day, the students participated in three workshops that encouraged leadership and communication skills. Spoken Word Artists Patrick De Belen and Casey Garcia taught how poetry can tell a person's story. DRP Constable Jarrod Singh and Toronto Police Constable Dale Swift teamed up to share their stories on how they became officers. Constable Chris Price with York Regional Police worked in the Internet Child Exploitation Unit and discussed the struggles officers face and how to overcome the psychological impact.
Founder and owner of Youth Leadership Camps Canada, Stu Saunders runs the largest multi-day leadership conference and spoke to the participants about leadership in his comedic style. Believing in the power that anyone can change the world, Saunders believes in the positive changes the students can achieve.
Canadian Paralympian and six-time world champion, Jeff Adams shared his personal story of surviving cancer as an infant and settling into life in a wheelchair eight years later when his legs atrophied. Through the difficulties in his early years, Mr. Adams was still able to participate in sports when he discovered the world of parasports, or adaptive sports for persons with disabilities.
As a young teen Adams was invited to join a wheelchair basketball team that traveled around the province competing against others with disabilities. The invitation to be included on a team was a defining moment for him and one that shaped his future career in sports.
"These things in our lives that have happened to us; believing in ourselves and being part of a team and making an effort, they're really important things," he commented." And that I think is the most important thing that's happened to me. That's the most powerful thing that we all have every single day is the ability to make people feel like you want them to be on your team. You have that power, you have that ability every single day."
Welcome to Ripple Effect! (JPG file, 632.3K bytes)
A special greeting between old friends (JPG file, 1,261.7K bytes)
Deputy Chief Fernandes Speaks (JPG file, 3,012.8K bytes)
Paralympian Jeff Adams Inspires the Students (JPG file, 2,903.4K bytes)
YIP Students Listening Intently (JPG file, 1,476.9K bytes)