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

VIDEO: Child airlifted to hospital after crash in rural Langley

Jaws of life were used to cut off the roof of a car and free its occupants from a two-car accident.

Documentary filmed in Chilliwack nominated in the ‘Wildlife Oscars’

Toad People is the only Canadian film to be nominated in this year’s Panda Wilderness Awards

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

VIDEO: BC Lions Club hosts inaugural Floats Festival

First festival attracts more than 250 floaters

Trudeau says he won’t apologize to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

Prime Minister had accused woman of racism as she shouted about illegal immigration at Quebec rally

B.C. man builds 10-foot sign thanking fire responders

Ken Rawson built his “thank u” sign on Saturday as helicopters responded to fires around the province.

PHOTOS: Olympian Patrick Chan helps B.C.’s ‘SuperChefs’ celebrate 10th anniversary

Former figure skater among those at event Friday in Surrey

Smaller B.C. bus service prepares to replace Greyhound

Kootenay-to-Okanagan run would require online reservations

Mother charged with homicide of Langley seven-year-old

Aaliyah Rosa’s 36-year-old mother charged with second degree murder: IHIT

Police ID Surrey man killed in fight at McDonald’s

Investigators ask anyone who knew Lakhwinder Singh Bal to speak with police, to help determine timeline ahead of ‘homicide’

5 to start your day

A man killed in Surrey, smoke continues to hang over the Lower Mainland and more

Air quality in Lower Mainland to hit ‘extreme risk’ as wildfire smoke settles in

Smoke is pouring in from the interior B.C. and fires down in the U.S.

Most Read