Students from around the region participated in the BC Schools of Character youth forum on Feb. 2 at University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford. Photo by Paul Funk

Students from around the region participated in the BC Schools of Character youth forum on Feb. 2 at University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford. Photo by Paul Funk

Forum focuses on service and inspiring youth

BC Schools of Character event held Feb. 2 in Abbotsford

This year’s BC Schools of Character youth forum was held Feb. 2 in Abbotsford, focusing on the character trait of “service” and on inspiring local youth to give back to the community.

The event was held at University of the Fraser Valley, with 21 schools attending from throughout the Fraser Valley.

Students participated from Grades 4 to 12.

Rick Hansen Secondary students opened the event by performing Paradise and reminding the students to serve others.

Eugene Reimer Middle School and Prince Charles Elementary students interviewed youth from the Abbotsford Foundry, and they shared their heartfelt and inspiring stories around service.

Special guests included Police Chief Bob Rich, Chief Dalton Silver, Dr. Awneet Sivia of the UFV education department, School of Character executive Cam Friesen, and Shervin Azar, author of Dare to Dream.

Rick Hansen Secondary student Anshdeep Sharda presented the BCSOC Award for Excellence in Service to Rich and to Les Talvio from the Cyrus Centre.

Silver blessed the event and welcomed all, and Rich shared his department’s recent experiences, bringing attention to the importance of giving back to the community.

Sgt. Mike Nowakowski shared his story and inspired the youth to be true to who they are and use their service to make a positive impact.

The students answered the question, “Why service?” with the help of the special guests, and arrived at the answer, “Our community matters.”

Postcards were used to record each of the youth’s action plan for this year.