Special to The Tribune
During this school year 19 students from Columneetza Secondary School had the privilege of attending Encounters with Canada an amazing program that brings high school students together for a week of incredible experiences in the capital city of Canada, Ottawa.
The program began in 1982 and since then more than 82,000 youth from all across Canada have taken part.
It is a life-changing experience for all the students who are fortunate enough to take part in this program.
The objective of Encounters is to bring young Canadians from different backgrounds and regions together in order to give them an opportunity to learn about one another, to discover their country through each other, and to gain a better understanding of our incredibly diverse country.
“I would recommend this to others because going to Encounters was a once in a lifetime experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life,” said Stephanie Horsley.
“This was a life changing experience for me, and from it I grew more as a person than in anything I have ever done before,” added Coltin Ashley.
Dylan Matheson thought the best part of Encounters was meeting new friends and going to the Museum of Civilization.
“I would definitely recommend this to others because it is a once-in-a- lifetime experience. You would never be able to meet all the people or experience Ottawa this way without Encounters,” said Shelby Doerkson.
Eric Davidson “strongly recommends it because you meet really awesome people and you make tons of memories and the activities are really fun.”
Courtney Zacharias and Danielle Goward both met amazing people and keep in touch with the friends they made at Encounters.
“Meeting all kinds of new people who were accepting and supportive,” was a highlight for Ryan Taylor.
Abbi Taylor, Patrick Brebner, and Jessica Herrick loved meeting new people from all parts of Canada.
Bhavdeep Sahota said “getting to meet people from all over Canada and getting to see parliament and all the museums” was a highlight.
Meaghan Watkinson’s “favorite experience was the ability to talk to and take part in Encounters with other students from across Canada.”
“It was one of the most fun times of my life!” said Matt Hoffman.
Jordan Pritchard would: “recommend it to everybody who has the chance to go because you meet people from all over the country and it prepares you for after graduation.”
“If you want to have the best time of your life, go to Encounters!” says Nico Ainley.
The students first select from 12 different themes such as Law, Arts and Culture, Medicine and Health, Ecology and Environment, Science and Technology, and Sports and Fitness.
They fly to Ottawa (often on their own) and meet up to 120 young people from every part of Canada where they spend a busy week learning and having fun.
The cost of the program is $675. which includes their flights — the cost is actually over $2,000 but it is subsidized by the federal government.
Students stay at the Terry Fox Centre in dorms and visit the parliament buildings and tour the many sights in Ottawa as well as doing activities that relate to the theme that week.
This is an amazing program for our youth and I hope that we can send even more students in the upcoming school year.