The 15 students from schools across the riding were given a first-hand look at possible post-secondary career opportunities, through a series of visits and interactions with individuals, groups and organizations in Ottawa, from October 23rd to 25th.
“The program, started by former MP Barry Devolin, has been a very popular and beneficial program for young people in my riding’s seven secondary schools,” said Schmale. “This is really a wonderful opportunity for me to work directly with some of our young people and expose them to a number of potential career opportunities they may not have previously considered or been aware of.”
The students were able to attend meetings with an advocate from Amnesty International, Officials from the South Korean Embassy to Canada, International Experience Canada, Garry Keller Chief of Staff in the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition, Rona Ambrose the Leader of the Official Opposition, and Katlyn Harrison (a graduate of I.E. Weldon) from SUMMA, a government relations firm.
“I thought that the trip as a whole was an absolutely amazing, once in a lifetime experience. I learned so much about the inner workings of parliament and about politics,” said Lauren Gignac of St. Thomas Aquinas in Lindsay. "It was a very enlightening and educational experience, as well as being fascinating, engaging and more fun than I ever could have imagined."
“I loved the variety of things we did, as it gave me an idea as to how many options there are career wise,” added Ksenia Shulyarenko of IE Weldon Secondary School. “I enjoyed meeting so many great people: not only everyone who the group met, but also all of the like-minded students who were part of the trip.”
“I met like-minded students, talked to very interesting professionals, and got to see the behind-the-scenes of how our government works," said Haliburton Highlands Secondary School student Andrew Carmount. “I recommend this experience to any student, whether interested in politics or not. I hope the program continues to give students to experience our capital.”
Schmale said the experience would not have been possible without a number of service groups and local businesses who help make the ‘Capital Experience’ program possible.
“A number of service groups and local businesses stepped forward to sponsor a student from their community,” said Schmale. “I want to thank them for helping me to make these young people more aware of the career options available to them.”