Cole Harbour conference teaches leadership to African-Nova Scotian youth

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WATCH ABOVE: A conference for African Nova Scotian youth hopes to connect mentors with youth in their community – Mar 4, 2016

A Cole Harbour school played host on Friday to a conference aimed at young African-Nova Scotian men that focused on creating a culture of leadership.

More than 100 junior-high and high-school students attended the African Canadian Youth Leadership Conference at Cole Harbour District High School.

“The theme of our conference is, it’s a community responsibility. So everybody in the community has a responsibility to our African-Nova Scotian men,” conference founder Curtis Gabriel said.

The issues discussed were ones that school principal Kenneth Fells says sometimes get overlooked in the school system.

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“There’s always been an issue with black people in particular in the education system with being successful. A lot of that is being able to reach out, knowing the children, knowing their needs, knowing how to support them and being willing to support them,” he said.

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The full day of workshops featured presentations from keynote speakers including Jessica Bowden, the founder of Teens Now Talk magazine.

“You are your destiny. You are the one who will create your path,” Bowden said. “You are the one who can make a difference if someone tells you no, which is to me new opportunities. Your responsibility is to make sure you go beyond that and be the best you can be,” said Bowden.

Many of the students in attendance said they were excited for the opportunity the conference gave them to connect with others.

“I feel like it’s great to learn more about the African youth here. I don’t know much, but I learned a lot so far today,” said Yasin Issak, a Grade 10 student at Halifax West High.

“I think it’s important for everybody here to just soak in everything that we’re being taught today and just continue to grow and develop as a person,” said Jonathan Duru, a Grade 12 student at Halifax West High.

“Just talking about career goals and how to be successful in life and things like that,” said Travae Beals-Flint, a Grade 12 student at Cole Harbour High.

“Having the mentality to be you and focus on you and basically being you,” said Jarvis Bernard, a Grade 12 student at Auburn Drive High.

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For more information on the conference you can visit the official website.

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