By Lucie Roy
Morinville-The Sturgeon County Youth Council presented their annual Building Block of the Community Awards to three recipients Tuesday during the Sturgeon County Volunteer Appreciation Night held at the Villeneuve Hall. The three recipients were Ernest Chauvet, Serge Froment and A. D. Richardson.
Building Blocks of the Community is an awards program established by the Sturgeon Youth Council to recognize adults or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the lives of Sturgeon youth. Sturgeon Youth Council recognizes individuals who provide youth with support, motivation and guidance.
Youth Council member Colette Bachand nominated and introduced Ernest Chauvet.
“Ernie had the chance to hire adults, but he only hired students and not only post-secondary students but high school students too,” Bachand said, adding it was how she had met Chauvet two years earlier when she was in Grade 10. “Ernie is not an employer focused on the capital he produces like most people. Ernie is dedicated to creating a family during our summer term with him. He taught us to expand our potential value we all have within us. Every Monday he would give us insights on philosophies into human nature and being a better person by understanding who we are and the world in general. Because we had these talks on Monday our productivity went up substantially because we did not want to let down Ernie.”
Bachand went on to say Chauvet organized extra activities and opportunities for his student employees to get involved with the community more, coordinating a barbecue celebration at the end of the summer. She said Chauvet gave her jobs specific to her interests.
“His philosophy is that people who do jobs they enjoy will do their jobs well,” Bachand said. “So by the following year he combined both interests and I was a mural painter and tour guide.”
Bachand said the foremost reason she respects Chauvet was because he believed in her. “I did not really believe I could speak French but working with Ernie I gradually improved,” she said. “He even recommended me to the Faculte Saint Jean to pursue a university degree in French. I did not even factor the possibility of me enrolling in the program and now I am pursuing a Bachelor of Education in Art and French, because of Ernie.”
Travis Loseth nominated A.D. Richardson, who is a youth worker with the Town of Morinville. Loseth spoke of how Richardson had been in the position for less than a year and yet has done so much. “spoke of how she is an amazing youth worker,” Loseth said, adding during that time Richardson has planned many trips into the city for youth, reopened the old youth center that had been closed down for years, has been working with the Youth In Action groups in both the high school and junior high in Morinville. “She has helped many of the youth find their passion for volunteering and helped to create a better reputation for youth in the community,” Loseth said.
Brittany and Samantha Ringuette nominated Morinville Road Runners coach Serge Froment because of his outstanding work with youth basketball.
Froment started with a small group of girls some years ago, and through his efforts now has five to six girls and boys teams. The Morinville Roadrunners midget girls have already won two provincial titles.
The girls said Froment coaches basketball with pride and a sense of humour and never gives up on his future basketball stars. The coach was praised as a role model to all the basketball players in his club and a great coach to the teams he coaches.
Through his work, Froment has given many youth around Sturgeon County a chance to play sports, get in shape, make friends and be a part of something bigger. The girls said the coach has given something special to the world and deserves something special back.
The Sturgeon Youth Council consists of 10 active members and participates in a variety of activities every year from September to June. This year the youth council volunteered with senior groups in the County and participated at the Festival of Trees in Edmonton. They are in their sixth year of sponsoring a child named Peter through Compassion Canada and write to him regularly. They recently initiated, planned, hosted and evaluated a youth conference. This conference was called S.A.F.E. (Stand Up And Feel Empowered). It was held at Camp Warwa and 80 participants were in attendance.
For the next few months they will be focusing on volunteer opportunities and initial plans for the next session, set to begin this September.