Ponoka County council members Bryce Liddle, Paul McLauchlin, Nancy Hartford, Mark Matekja and Doug Weir pose with representatives of the Ponoka Youth Centre and Big Brothers Big Sisters following the group’s presentation on March 13. The county approved $40,000 for youth programming.                                Photo submitted

Ponoka County council members Bryce Liddle, Paul McLauchlin, Nancy Hartford, Mark Matekja and Doug Weir pose with representatives of the Ponoka Youth Centre and Big Brothers Big Sisters following the group’s presentation on March 13. The county approved $40,000 for youth programming. Photo submitted

Area young people to benefit from Ponoka County support

Ponoka/Rimbey youth programs net $40,000 county donation for Big Brothers and Youth Centre

Providing support for county residents, especially those programs designed to help young people, is important to Ponoka County councillors.

That’s why a motion was approved to maintain the funding for the Ponoka/Rimbey Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) as well as the Ponoka Youth Centre/Boys and Girls Club of Wolf Creek at the same $40,000 level as last year. The motion was passed unanimously at council’s March 13 meeting after a presentation by the organization.

In a bit of a departure from the past, council heard the bulk of the presentation from the perspective of the individuals that participate and benefit from the various programming offered.

Kynna Hvizdos along with ‘little brother’ Isaiah Jefferson, who were matched through BBBS two years ago, gave a rundown of the functions and program offerings — such as traditional mentoring and gender-specific group mentoring. The pair also spoke about how their match has affected them, in a positive manner, something that couldn’t be accomplished without the county’s financial support.

“Traditional mentoring is what people think about when you say Big Brothers Big Sisters. It’s just about offering support, friendship and a positive role model,” explained Hvizdos.

“Sometimes it’s just hanging out and spending time with someone, which is super important. Though what I’m involved in is the in-school mentoring, spending an hour per week in the school setting, with their match working on social development, building self-esteem through crafts, sports or other activities.”

For Isaiah, the mentoring program has enabled him to see the positives in life and provide him with more self-confidence.

Hvizdos added, “I got involved 10 years ago and when the idea was presented to me, I was apprehensive as I didn’t think I’d be good at it. But looking back, it has been one of my best decisions as an adult. It allowed me to increase my own confidence and realize I do have something to offer. For me, this is a way to stay connected to my community and the opportunity to invest in the life of another person.”

Yael Witvoet and Hayden Feragen, both Ponoka Youth Centre members, spoke on behalf of the two youth clubs and their thoughts on how it helps the community.

“(The youth centre) is a place where people can make friends and everyone is usually accepting there, that’s what I think is best about it,” said Feragen, who is vice-president of the Keystone Club — the youth centre’s leadership program for teens.

Witvoet brought forward a few 2017 statistics for council.

For BBBS, 137 youths matched with a mentor, 90 involved in group mentoring, rural youth served were 45 per cent in Ponoka and 36 per cent in Rimbey. Meanwhile, two youth centres saw attendance in various programs reach 106 in Rimbey and 658 in Ponoka with rural youth making up 32 per cent of attendees in Rimbey and 22 per cent in Ponoka.

Ponoka CountyPonoka Youth Centre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Children and their families enjoy the light display at Centennial Park in 2019. (File photo)
Town anounces expanded light display and new Christmas Light Tour

The Town of Ponoka will flip the switch on an expanded Christmas… Continue reading

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced the province surpasses one million COVID-19 tests Friday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up by 100 in last 24 hours

Most central Alberta communities under province’s enhanced measures list

file photo
Wetaskiwin, Maskwacis RCMP search warrant seize drugs; numerous charges laid

39-year-old Wetaskiwin man, Wayne Wiebe charged with 21 criminal code offences.

.
Alberta confirmed more than 1,500 COVID-19 cases Sunday

Central zone active cases slightly up

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

Ilaria Rubino is shown in this undated handout image at University of Alberta. Alberta researcher Rubino has developed technology allowing mostly salt to kill pathogens in COVID-19 droplets as they land on a mask. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-University of Alberta
Alberta researcher gets award for COVID-19 mask innovation

The salt-coated mask is expected to be available commercially next year after regulatory approval.

Russ and Luanne Carl are sharing about their experiences of fighting COVID-19 this past summer. (Photo submitted)
Stettler couple opens up about COVID-19 battle

Luanne and Russ Carl urge others to bolster personal safety measures amidst ongoing pandemic

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Most Read