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Local youth getting chance to ‘encounter’


Many programs are available to help Canadian citizens appreciate the country in which we live, but how many of them are just for students?

“Encounters with Canada” certainly is one of those.

This program gives students, aged 15-17, a chance to travel to Ottawa during the school year and experience a certain course, whether it be law, journalism, or communications.

A group of Fort High students are among those from across Canada taking part in the program this year.

“It is a really good opportunity for the students,” said FFHS guidance counsellor Al McManaman.

“They strongly investigate one certain area with around 130 students from across the whole nation, who may bring certain traits or skills that will give our students a whole different perspective on our country.

“[This] school year, we have had 10 students sign up—eight have already travelled and went through the program,” McManaman noted. “Those students have had nothing but good things to say.

“Next year, we are hoping to promote more students to sign up or just check it out at least,” he added.

Tenth-grader Aaron Petrin will be the last student from Fort High to travel to Ottawa this year. He’ll be attending a business theme week from April 7-13 .

“I can’t even describe the things students will see and the people they will meet,” said Erin Anderson, who took part in the program two years ago. “It’s just a great cultural experience.”

“I agree with Erin,” said Nicole Rogozinski, another previous program participant. “It’s the most amazing leadership experience I have ever attended.

“When students leave from there, they will come out so much better, and with friendships that will last a lifetime,” she added.

If students wish to register for next year or just check out the program, they can contact either McManaman at the high school’s guidance department or talk to one of their teachers.

There also is information on the program’s official Web site at

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