Building Capacity in the Fraser Region
Connie Klimek is a well respected Champion with extensive community development experience. One of her most recent projects, Power Nation, drew in 11 refugee youth in Langley.
Power Nation assists low income youth with the cost of playing hockey- providing donated equipment, professional coaches, transportation, and even breakfast. Beyond gaining ice hockey skills, the youth also participate in Literacy Fitness, where they acquire skills and knowledge for succeeding in the classroom and in life. Participants also sign contracts pledging 20 hours of volunteering and a commitment to their school work.
The impact of this program on the refugee community has been significant. Teachers report a change in their students who are participating in Power Nation with a notable improvement in academic work, personal confidence and English skills. Parents are encouraged with the positive reports they hear back from coaches who are amazed with the refugee youth’s achievements which continue to develop at a level unheard of among their peers.
The refugee youth in Power Nation have a natural athleticism that Klimek has tried to leverage through this program to “build on the best”. Rather than starting from deficits and gaps in April 2009