This story originally ran in the Keremeos Review’s April 29 issue.
Starting this week, look to the pages of the Keremeos Review and online in the coming weeks for stories from local student reporters.
The Lower Similkameen Community Services Society (LSCSS) and the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen have partnered together for the pilot leadership program.
Six students will be giving community journalism a try, interviewing members of the LSCSS board of directors.
The students will be working together in pairs to conduct the interviews, and then write up the stories of the volunteers behind the LSCSS’ many programs.
Each pair of students will be interviewing three different individuals, coordinated by Petra Ruscher, with the LSCSS, and Carole Fitsell, with the RDOS.
The goal of the program is to highlight key players of the community and to give the students insights into the work of the volunteers and community efforts.
The leadership program is also accredited through YouLearn, giving the students credits for the work that they’re doing.
“Before there was the ambassador program and that ended last year,” said Ruscher. “The school has a leadership program, but it’s not as elaborate. With this one, it’s stepping out of their bubble, and into the community.”
“Right now there is not much happening, so this is a highlight for the community that there is something happening. It’s hope.”
The program also helps to promote what the LSCSS offers, and to better connect the community and improve awareness of what the society can offer to residents in the area.
Due to COVID-19, the program is starting with just six students, with the potential for the group to expand in the future once the pilot is finished and restrictions hopefully ease.
The students will receive feedback on their stories from the Review’s journalist Brennan Phillips.
“It is great to see the youth of today taking an interest in the community and journalism, and I look forward to seeing what they will bring to the table,” said Phillips. “This is a new endeavour and I am eager to see where this program will go.”
The stories from the students of the leadership program will be printed in the Keremeos Review over several weeks.
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