The Child Witness Centre will be welcoming 4 ,000 Grade 8 students, and their teachers, to the 1 6 th annual Youth Symposium which features some of Canada’s top speakers sharing personal stories a bout goal setting, community citizenship, healthy dating and more. This day - long event is held on April 1 6 th for Guelph and Wellington County students and for the first time ever has expanded to include two days for students from Waterloo Region, April 17 th and April 18th .
“Our goal in offering this program is to expose Grade 8 students to a variety of perspectives and topics that focus on the opportunities and challenges facing them as they transition into high school – which is such a key time in their development,” said L aura Muirhead, Executive Director of the Child Witness Centre.
Eleven speakers will share their stories across the t hree days, including:
• SCOTT HAMMELL: A four - time Guinness World Record holder for stunts including World’s Highest Blindfolded Skydive and World’s Highest Suspended Straightjacket Escape, Hammell speaks to the importance of challenging yourself to do the unthinkable and the rewards th a t come with being tenacious in the pursuit of personal goals. Scott is a graduate of K.C.I. high school here in Waterloo Region.
• BECKY KELLAR - DUKE: Olympian Becky Kellar - Duke competed in the first four Olympic Winter Games in which women’s ice hockey was include d, winning one silver and four gold medals. Kellar - Duke will be speaking about the roles that goal setting and self - determination played on her road to the Olympics.
• RICK OSBORNE: Once one of Canada’s most - wanted criminals, Osborne spent almost 25 years in 33 different penitentiaries for crimes involving assault, weapons and narcotics. He’ll share with students how victimization early in his life led to involvement with street gangs and how he decided to change the trajectory of his life – earning his B.A. in Psychology from Queen’s University and dedicating his life to supporting others.
• GUELPH POLICE SERVICE/WATERLOO REGION POLICE WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT/DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TREATMENT CENTRE: S tudents will hear from trusted experts on topics that include healthy dating, cyberbullying, human trafficking and consent. The Child Witness Centre hosts the annual Youth Symposium with the following goals:
• Share with students , information that is relevant and supports their overall social, physical, emotional, mental hea lth and wellbeing.
• Educate students on tools and strategies that will help them develop resiliency and empower them to strong futures.
• Challenge students to make a difference in the world.
• Utilize different presentation approaches to address a variety of l earning styles.
• Support the teachers in their work with their students.
To see the full list of presenters please visit http://childwitness.com/what - we - do/youth - symposium/ Presenters can be available throughout each day for interview and photos (advanced notice of interview/photo request, if possible) .
Please note, photos of students are not permitted at this private event .
About the Child Witness Centre: We provide support, education and advocacy for children and youth who are or may become victims or witnesses of abuse or crime in Waterloo Region, Guelph and Wellington County . Our car ing , compassionate professionals walk with young people on their journey through the cr iminal justice process, helping them h ave a voice and fostering healing, hope and wellbeing. Our vision is a community where young people are safe, valued and heard, empowering them toward strong futures.