NAIT and Cenovus Energy launch program to promote essential aboriginal youth leadership skills
NAIT, with the support of Cenovus Energy, has launched an innovative program to help promote aboriginal youth leadership skills in First Nation communities in central and northern Alberta.
The NAIT Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program sponsored by Cenovus Energy was delivered last week to 18 students between the ages of 15 and 18 in Heart Lake First Nation, located approximately 290 km northeast of Edmonton. This is the first community the program has been delivered in, following a pilot in 2011.
“It is essential for all communities to focus on youth leadership development in order to identify and develop tomorrow’s leaders at an early age and assist them in realizing their full potential,” said George Andrews, NAIT vice president external relations and chief development officer. “In order to help communities address these needs, NAIT, with the support of Cenovus Energy, developed this aboriginal youth leadership program.”
Through interactive instruction, the NAIT Aboriginal Youth Leadership program teaches students how to improve their communications skills, identify and deal with risks, manage a variety of conflict situations, improve time management skills and more.
The program ¬- taught by NAIT’s Project Leadership and Project Management instructors - help students improve their grades, reduce school drop-out rates and improve employment opportunities.
"Cenovus is pleased to be supporting the NAIT Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program," said Jennifer Pendura, Cenovus group lead, community relations and investment. "We believe this program has an important role in engaging tomorrow’s leaders at an early age and assisting them in realizing their full potential. We strive to be innovative in all that we do, including the way that we support the communities where we live and work."
The NAIT Aboriginal Youth Leadership program was successfully piloted two years ago in High Level to participants from the three Dene Tha’ First Nation communities. It will continue to be delivered to youth from other First Nation communities following last week’s successful launch.
“Some of the things we learned and talked about, no one has explained or taught me before, or in this way,” said Kendall Calliou, a 17-year-old mom who took the program in Heart Lake. “What I have learned here, I can teach my own kids - things like communication, problem solving and team work. This program makes you look at things differently and it will help you in your life."
NAIT is one of Canada’s leading polytechnics, with almost 80,000 registrations worldwide in key areas including science, technology and the environment, business, health and trades. Known for real-world education and student success, NAIT also engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. NAIT enrolled its first students - 29 communication electrician apprentices - in 1962 and this year concludes its 50th anniversary celebrations.
About Cenovus Energy Inc.
Cenovus Energy Inc. is a Canadian oil company. It is committed to applying fresh, progressive thinking to safely and responsibly unlock energy resources the world needs. Operations include oil sands projects in northern Alberta, which use specialized methods to drill and pump the oil to the surface, and established natural gas and oil production in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The company also has 50% ownership in two U.S. refineries. For more information, visit www.cenovus.com.
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