The RBC Bank has made a significant donation to help start a program targeted at youth.
Speaking to a group gathered for a funding announcement at the Pictou County Wellness Centre on Wednesday, Paul Atta recalled being a youth at a similar event in Australia.
“For me this marks my life as really having come complete circle,” he said.
When he was a youth, he had a chance to take part in a YMCA program that he said helped shape his future.
“For me that really was the catalyst that changed my life and helped me become the person I am here today.”
And it’s that same kind of change he envisions will happen in the lives of dozens of Pictou County youth moving forward thanks to a $65,000 grant announced to help develop a program for young people. RBC also made a $10,000 donation to the Pictou County Wellness Centre’s capital campaign.
Having self esteem and believing oneself is the first step towards becoming a leader and it’s one of the main components he believes the Y can supply with this program for youth in Grades 7 to Grade 12.
“Youth leadership programs foster in young people the desire and capacity to affect positive change both in the world around them and in their own lives,” Atta said. “They learn they have a voice and it does count. They learn to grasp their inner potential and run with it. And they will have an outlet to debate and to discuss what really matters to them with their peers.”
He said this will be a benefit to the community as a whole because of those engaged youth.
“This strength will change lives. It will strengthen our community but more importantly it will enable the Y to seek potential in every kid we meet.”
Kim Mason, RBC's regional president for Atlantic Canada said she remembers hearing from clients and from her team about the fantastic facility being built in Pictou County and then having Sean Murray, who worked with the capital campaign, stop in to talk with her about how the bank could help. She was almost immediately sold on the vision he presented.
“We do believe in supporting the communities in which we do business, the communities that do so much to support us with their loyalty.”
Murray also spoke. He said that the Wellness Centre was created out of a need in the community and this RBC donation is going to help fill one area of need that wasn’t being met.
The groundwork for the program is already being laid. Jacob Baldwin has been hired to lead the program and said he is looking forward to it.
“I see so much potential in the youth of Pictou County and am excited to work with them and help whatever way I can,” he said.