Posted by Ed Kolybaba on Jun 27, 2019
 
 
 
This annual event provides a unique opportunity for a selected group of young Canadians to come together to gain a better understanding of our country. Through meetings with political leaders, senior officials and others, they learn a great deal about the workings of our democratic institutions. Through meeting one another and having discussions among themselves, they learn to appreciate the diversity of Canada and the privileges and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship.
 
Upon her return to Kelowna, Kritika had the opportunity to share her experience with the members of the Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise.  In her opening remarks, Kritika expressed that “Not only did I learn incredible skills and gain new perspective through keynote speakers; I got to be surrounded by nearly 200 peers who I had never met before. Many of which were young aspiring Rotarians who are students involved in their very own Rotary Interact clubs at school, just as I am.”
 
Kritika Dave, a grade 12 student in Kelowna, enjoyed a unique opportunity, when she attended the Rotary Adventure in Citizenship Program in Ottawa from April 28-May 01, 2019.  She was one of 199 16-18 year old students from across Canada to participate in the 69th Annual program established and organized by the Rotary Club of Ottawa.  Kritika was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise.
 
 
 
 
Kritika shared her adventure of learning by explaining what transpired over the four days of the exciting event:
 
Day One:
 
Participation in the opening ceremony where Kateri Clark, the president of the Rotary Club of Ottawa welcomed the students to the program and provided some information about Rotary.
 
Presentation by Frederick Dryden who created “Liberty for Youth,” which is a non-profit charitable organization that provides a prevention and intervention mentoring program aimed at youth living around Hamilton, Ontario who are involved in, or at-risk of criminal behaviour.
 
Tour of the Canadian War Museum, a real eye-opener for Kritika, after having learned so much about Canada's history in Socials 11.  (“I have a knack for social studies and being able to see authentic artifacts particularly from WW1 and WW2 in person was surreal. This truly helped me grasp a better understanding of Canadian past and history,” expressed Kritika.)
 
Day Two:
 
Tour of Parliament Hill, including the opportunity to sit in the House of Commons where the participants listened to presentations from the pages, the clerk and the speaker.
  
Additionally, the students heard from Phil Gurski who talked about homegrown terrorism in Canada and how to turn that division into diversity and inclusion, followed by a presentation by Nabil Oudeh as he spoke on his experience working in conflict resolution. Group discussions based on important issues Canadians currently face such as climate change and discrimination followed enabling the students to gain insight from their peers across Canada and to learn about their views towards these issues.
 
Day Three:
 
Tour of the University of Ottawa campus, followed by presentations by a number of speakers at Algonquin College.
 
Bob Watts spoke about truth and reconciliation, and then the students enjoyed watching and listening to “some amazing aboriginal dancing and singing performances.”  
 
Day Four:
 
The students attended a citizenship ceremony where new citizens were welcomed into Canada with open arms and where the students themselves reaffirmed their own oaths, stated as “We stand as strong citizens, with unwavering loyalty to our Canadian values of peace, tolerance and hope.”
 
Kritika enunciated that young people, even in high school have the power to create positive change and Adventure in Citizenship is a testament to that fact. Young people have a place as active citizens in Canadian society where we can shape the nation and communities we live in for better, with our voice. I felt empowered when youth came together to listen to speakers who talked about the challenges we face and the tools we have to meet them in our daily lives.
 
Kritika conveyed her thanks to all of the members of the Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise for sponsoring her on this adventure. “I will surely take into account everything I learned on this trip to be a strong future leader of Canada and inspire others in this same effect, she expressed in conclusion.