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Creating futures of unlimited potential: YAP exposes middle school students to career opportunities

“As people in our community know, trades and technology make for rewarding careers with substantial opportunity for growth in the energy industry,” says Paul Leonard, former Operations Manager at Imperial’s Cold Lake, AB operation.

Imperial provided $65,000 to the Northern Lights School Division in 2014 to expand its successful Youth Achievement Program (YAP) from Lac La Biche to the Cold Lake Middle School.

YAP puts young people on an early path to take advantage of local employment opportunities when they’re older, offering them a future of unlimited potential.

For over 10 years YAP has exposed Lac La Biche students to a variety of career options, including trades and apprenticeship training, through hands-on learning opportunities. Many of the activities are also tied to the school curriculum so students can see the link between what they are learning in the classroom and a potential career path, as well as the importance of staying in school.

YAP participants have taken site tours of oil field operations, learned to operate heavy equipment using Portage College’s Heavy Equipment Simulator, job shadowed, and completed first aid and other safety training.

“One of the critical components to YAP’s success has been the strong partnerships that have been formed with local industry,” said Board Chair Arlene Hrynyk. “We are very grateful that Imperial recognizes the valuable learning opportunities this will provide for students.”

Photo — Northern Lights School Division students and staff show off Imperial’s cheque to fund the inaugural year of the Youth Achievement Program (YAP) expansion to Cold Lake Middle School.