If you have or happen to be a youth aged 12-18, live in Prince Edward County and want to become a youth success story, the Recreation Outreach Centre (ROC) in Picton is the place to start.
The ROC hires summer students every year and last year they hired Ruby Gaudett to serve as a summer camp councillor, youth mentor as well as take on administrative duties
The Picton native is a second year student at the University of Toronto (St. George Campus) and is majoring in sociology and minoring in women and gender studies as well as sexual diversity studies.
So when her name popped up in the list of candidates for a more prominent posting in 2019, the local youth empowerment organization knew she would be a perfect fit.
Gaudett,19, is spending the summer as the Youth Engagement intern at the ROC and has three main categories to build projects around: Civic Engagement, Youth Entrepreneurship and Youth Forum.
For the Civic Engagement portion, Gaudett is working in collaboration with the Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC).
“The CEDC currently have one youth seat, I’ve met Sarah Johnson and I’ve also met with the person that previously held that role,” said Gaudett. “I’ve gotten some feed back from them about what they think is working well and in their opinion what could maybe be improved on to try and better that experience for a future youth representative.”
In terms of Youth Entrepreneurship, a group of local youth recently held a bake sale in front of Sobey’s grocery store, raising $312 which all will be going towards covering transportation, food and what ever other costs that come with an youth-based excursion later this summer and Gaudett is in the process of detailing these types of local success stories on her blog.
Under Youth Forum, Gaudett is in the early stages of helping organize a Prince Edward County Exclusive Summit in 2020.
“It’s still some time away but I’ve been laying the ground work for it and getting prepared,” Gaudett said.
While the ROC serves as Gaudett’s home base, the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) is a funding partner for the Youth Engagement Intern position and the parties are working in collaboration with the Municipality and the County Foundation.
The ROI funds 10 different interns that are in different parts of rural Ontario and Prince Edward County was chosen along with South Dundas, Brockville and a number of other rural locales across the province.
“Part of my ROI job is I’m in collaboration with all the other interns, so we have monthly updates explaining how our projects are going,” Gaudett told The Gazette. “We also have a great resource in Ryan Deska, a representative of ROI who helps us through things that are challenging such as if were struggling getting youth engaged he’s a really good resource in that sense.”
Gaudett also added it’s “super cool” to see what other projects other interns across Ontario are working on in comparison to her own initiatives.
Youth mental health is also something Gaudett is passionate about and feels this job is very fitting as it covers this vital aspect of youth development.
“This has been a really good stepping stone for me personally to engage youth and speak about mental health. Maybe this is not something I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life but it’s been great experience so far,” Gaudett expressed. “What’s interesting about sociology is it’s just so vague and so broad there’s so many jobs that haven’t been created in the field yet so that’s really exciting.”
For more information, please visit https://rubygaudett.wixsite.com/roc-internship