Abbotsford Youth at Risk program makes semi-finals of Aviva competition

A joint program of the Abbotsford Police Department and Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service has advanced to Aviva semi-finals to win $97,000.

  • Oct. 21, 2011 12:00 p.m.

A joint program of the Abbotsford Police Department and Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service has advanced to the semi-finals of a competition to win $97,000 for future development.

The program, called Youth at Risk, combines multi-media presentations that the two agencies, until recently, had been running independently – one on fire safety and the other on road safety.

The program was entered in the Aviva Community Fund online-voting competition, which awards a total of $1 million across Canada for ideas that will have a positive impact in their communities.

Youth at Risk finished in the top 10 in round one from entries across Canada. This first-round success allows the entry to skip the second and third voting rounds and proceed directly to the semi-finals, which begin Dec. 5.

“The Youth at Risk education program is intended to help teens understand the consequences attached to the choices they make and to assist them in making informed decisions about taking risks of any kind,” said Police Chief Bob Rich.

“One of the many unique aspects of this program is the collaboration it has created between Abbotsford’s emergency responders who realized that they were tackling similar core issues in their dealings with young people,” said Fire Chief Don Beer.

The Aviva grant funding would allow the program’s creators to expand the scope of their presentations and make them more accessible through an improved Internet and social media presence.

For more information about Youth at Risk, visit www.tough2bteen.ca. For more information about the Aviva competition and to vote for Youth at Risk, starting Dec. 5, visit avivacommunityfund.org.