Local dental surgeon sending Highland trio to leadership seminar

Three Highland students will gain leadership skills and meet other youth leaders from around the world, thanks to scholarships from a Comox dental surgeon.

For the fourth year, Dr. Andreas Conradi’s office has given three scholarships, (totalling $10,000), to Valley youth, allowing them to participate in Pearson College UWC’s three-week summer program, Pearson Seminar on Youth Leadership.

“For the whole team here, it’s a really enriching experience for all of us when we can see a glow in these young people’s faces, and to see that we’ve made a difference,” says Conradi.

One of the goals for the students is, “To gain some experience that they would not gain anywhere else, and then be able to bring that back to the community so we can all benefit from it.”

Students going this summer are Nattalia Gagne (Grade 11), Cassie Jeffrey (Grade 11) and Jessica Baldwin (Grade 10).

“I feel very thankful for Dr. Conradi and his team’s work to make this opportunity available for students,” says Baldwin, who plans to enter Highland’s International Baccalaureate Programme in September. “I’m really excited about the youth leadership camp … it looks like a great opportunity.”

Leadership skills taught

Located on waterfront property west of Victoria, the program features a series activities to strengthen leadership skills and explore global issues, and has 100 attendees from around the world.

The program also includes plenty of outdoor activities, like hiking and kayaking, plus various presentations designed to get students thinking about what they can do to improve their communities and the world.

Conradi says the three Highland students chosen for scholarships this year are excellent matches for the program.

“They are very, very active in the community,” says Conradi. “Two of them are running the local Interact club, and they’re very much supportive of community-based services.

“They really hope to get some tools at this youth leadership program that they’ll be able to apply in their own school, as far as international understanding, leadership and teamwork.”

The students will each write an essay for Conradi, summarizing their experience at the seminar and what their goals are after attending.

Conradi an alumnus

Conradi attended Pearson College UWC for two years when he was young, and he says bringing youth together from around the world is an important aspect of the college.

“It’s nice to bring some international understanding back to the youth groups to make them realize, despite what’s going on in the world, we can all get along,” says Conradi. “So, that’s what the Pearson College philosophy is in the end, and these three students will get that in a condensed version … at the summer camp.”


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