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Student leaders participate in Youth Forum
May 11, 2005, Belleville, Ontario—Student leaders and staff advisors from secondary schools in the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board will participate in a one-day youth forum at the Education Centre on Monday, May 16th. Organized by the Board’s Student Senate, this event is an opportunity for participants to hear messages relating to the development and refinement of leadership skills, and civic responsibilities for youth.

By design, the Youth Forum is a way for secondary students to initiate change at their schools and raise awareness that people’s emotional, social and ethical development are connected to caring school communities.

Special guest Marc Kielburger
Special guest Marc Kielburger will open the event with a keynote address to approximately 800 secondary students in the morning at Centennial Secondary School.

Kielburger leads others by example. He is the founder of Leaders Today, an international organization that provides leadership training for over 100,000 every year. Kielburger became socially active in his teens, helping raise awareness of environmental issues as a writer and spokesperson. During his university years, he travelled to Thailand to help mothers living with HIV/AIDS, and it was this experience that inspired him to start teaching youth how they, too, can make a difference in the lives of others. Currently Marc is the Executive Director of (Kids Can) Free the Children. His extraordinary work has been profiled on Oprah, CNN, CBC’s Man Alive, the BBC, as well as in the Chicago Tribune, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and LA Times. He is co-author of Take Action! A Guide to Active Citizenship and Take More Action with his brother Craig.

“The youth forum is an opportunity for our student leaders to hear Marc Kielburger’s motivational messages that young people can make a difference for themselves and others. On behalf of the Board, I extend congratulations to the Student Senate for planning this event. Through their hard work and dedication, students in all of our secondary schools will hear messages of social and civic responsibility and strategies to manage difficult situations,” remarks Judy Edgar, Chair of the Board.

Following Kielburger’s keynote address, approximately 100 student leaders and staff advisors will be hosted at the Education Centre for another session with Marc Kielburger and workshops on:
• Social and civic responsibility
• Public speaking
• Conflict resolution
• Event management

The event will wrap up with a group discussion of the issues addressed during the day and a planning session to provide direction for follow-up at each secondary school.

Media representatives are invited to attend Youth Forum at either the keynote address at Centennial Secondary School, or the workshops at the Education Centre.

For information, contact:
• Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, (613) 966-1170, or 1 800 267-4350, ext. 2354