A little to the east of Sherbrooke on Route 112, you will certainly come across the municipality of Ascot Corner. It is peaceful with only 3,400 inhabitants calling it home, yet the community is bustling. In fact, numerous events are organized annually through the local recreation, sports, culture and community services.
The team expanded this summer with the support of the Youth Employment Experience program, which is bolstered by the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) of the Government of Canada. The program allowed for the addition of a key person: a recreation intern.
Multifaceted Tasks Makes for an Enriching Experience
Anouk Vallée is an undergraduate student majoring in literary and cultural studies at the Université de Sherbrooke. Last June, her application was accepted for the recreation internship that would last fifteen weeks.
This lively young intern quickly began to receive important assignments, such as running the summer day camp that included booking the event leaders and activities, as well organizing the Halloween party and Christmas events. She was also asked to take charge of other events, such as a river excursion at the end of August and, along with the public library, the Grande semaine des tout-petits, which took place in mid-November.
Her presence was such a blessing for the organization, which was able to not only lighten the manager’s workload, but also dedicate the often much needed time on administrative duties
Impact on the Community and Young People
While the board’s projected budget did not allow for a paid intern, the Youth Employment Experience program served to add to the selection of events and activities for Ascot Corner residents, no matter the age.
On top of that, one of Anouk’s tasks during her internship was to attract a hard-to-reach segment of the population: teenagers. In fact, since the municipality is next to the bigger city of Sherbrooke, Ascot Corner sees young people attracted by the amenities of the big city each year.
To understand and to wrap her head around the situation, the young recruit went to meet with these teenagers. Throughout the summer, she formed several discussion groups in order to come up with the best strategies towards attracting young people and offering them activities that match their needs and interests.
An Unbridled Success
Anouk’s adventure ended on December 17. Upon returning to her studies, the association gave her a uniquely lighter work schedule that allowed her to study and work at the same time. As the end of her contract drew near, she said that she reached the personal goals that she had set for herself and flourished through her interactions with her mentor.
This introverted young recruit had set the goal of developing her interpersonal skills. The position allowed her to meet with many people and to have a voice on different committees, so she was always made to leave her comfort zone.
Anouk said, “the internship also provided me with the basics of organizing work, effectively managing files and emails, and also being familiar with many types of documents”.
As for Andréane Rivard, the manager responsible for recreation, sports, culture and community services, she loved the mentorship experience. She considered herself lucky to have found such a rare gem in Anouk by acknowledging the skills and problem-solving ability of her mentee. Rivard also revealed that running the services and finding the time to train the young recruit allowed her to improve her own organizational skills.