On December 15, 2017, Riverside grade 12 student, Naomi Kazemi was given the opportunity to go to Ecuador for the EF Tours Youth Ambassador Program. During spring break, Kazemi will share an issue in her community and come up with ideas to help solve the problem throughout the program. By making a difference at a national and global level, Kazemi will receive mentorships from Senators and MP’s to start her project toward change.

A community issue that Kazemi is bringing to the EF Tours Youth Ambassador Program is the lack of transgender accessible health care in the Tri-cities. “I think that this program will allow me to make a change in health care for all transgender individuals living in our community,” said Kazemi. She also wants to start a project implementing gender neutral washrooms in public facilities. “The gender-neutral washroom at Riverside encouraged me to bring this project to the program,” she said.

An influence on Kazemi’s decision to apply for the program was Riverside counsellor, Ms. Kasey Chittenden. “Although I was hesitant at first, she really encouraged me to apply and helped me realize that the idea I had was very important,” said Kazemi. She is also looking forward to meeting new students with similar interests and goals at the leadership program.

Every year, the EF Youth Tours Ambassador’s Program chooses one in 30 students to make a difference in their community. By making ideas a reality, students are given the chance to participate in a life-changing leadership program that is a great learning and growing experience.

At the end of the program, students will receive an Official Youth Ambassador certificate and will also have the opportunities to join the World Vision Youth Leadership Council, become an official World Vision Youth speaker and trainer, participate in Global Youth Engagement programs, and apply for World Vision Canada Internships and Leadership Trip experiences.