MP Mark Strahl visited Seabird Island on Tuesday to learn more about a federal program that helps youth overcome employment barriers. Here

Seabird leading the way with education programs

Federally funded program encourages self sufficiency and job readiness

Seabird Island is once again being noted for its forward-thinking educational programs.

MP Mark Strahl visited the community on Tuesday to hear how a federally-funded youth employment program is changing the lives of those who take part in it.

“I’m hearing good news today,” he said in a phone call to the Observer.

“I’m out here for the morning to hear from the students and their administrators, teachers and program directors on how the Enhanced Service Delivery program is going. While the ESD is a federally-funded program, he said, it was only given funding because Seabird has shown that it was capable of delivering it successfully.

“They’re kind of a pioneer out in this region and we wanted to hear how it’s going, how to improve and what’s working,” he said. “Seabird recognizes, as a First Nation community, that education is the key to economic success and that’s why they are so focused on their young people. Anytime there is a program, Seabird wants to be a part of it and they have put a lot of their own resources into this.”

The ESD program targets youth ages 18-24 and helps them address barriers to employment, offering skills upgrades and other resources to help them succeed in the work force. Currently, 95 young people are accessing the services in Seabird. In B.C., the number is 250, and nationwide, 4,000 youth are involved with ESD.

“They received these funds because they were ready for them,” he said. “They were the only First Nations that could show capacity and ability to deliver.”

Strahl noted that even before Seabird’s youth are preparing for life after high school, they are encouraged to explore potential career options.

“They encourage them to think about what they do and what they want for a career,” he said, and try to employ youth in a number of different businesses and organizations within the band’s economy. “They rotate them through and get them some job experience.”

He said one of the highlights of his day at Seabird was seeing young students stand up and declare what they see themselves becoming, whether it was an electrician or a business owner.

The Seabird Island Enhanced Service Delivery program includes six affiliated First Nations: Seabird Island, Chawathil, Shxw’ow’hamel, Squiala, Cheam and Union Bar.

Chief Clem Seymour said they are focused encouraging members to be self sufficient.

“Seabird Island Band believes in the success of our people and empowering our members to achieve independence. With help from Enhanced Service Delivery, our youth and young adults are achieving self sufficiency through employment, reducing the dependency on income assistance and positively impacting our community,” he said.

news@ahobserver.com

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: ‘Spontaneous combustion’ likely cause of fire at mushroom composting facility on Lougheed Highway

First responders were at the blaze near the Skawahlook First Nation Tuesday

Approval for AirBnB-style rentals in Kent delayed after public hearing

Staff will be taking the bylaw amendments back for a closer look before final adoption

Kent Harrison Emergency Support team honoured for work during 2017 wildfire season

The volunteer group was activated for 254 days in a row to help evacuees

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Wildfire threatens weekend campers at Chehalis Lake

The fire started on the north side of Chehalis Lake Saturday

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Plane veers off runway, into ditch at Langley Airport

Fire, ambulance, and police are on scene

Okanagan RCMP bike patrol rolls up on alleged stolen vehicle from Burnaby

The driver, a 30-year-old Kelowna man, has been held in custody and is facing possible charges of possession of stolen property and obstructing a police officer

Most Read