First Rural Change Makers cohort announced

Class members will learn how to have an impact on their communities

Clockwise from left: Alexis Kuper, Emily Kyle, Sarah Kiar, and Patrick Verkley.
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The Rural Ontario Institute has announced the cohort for the Rural Change Makers pilot project.

Eighteen people aged 19 to 29 were selected from across the province to be part of the program.

The goal of the program is to grow the capacity of young adults to serve as change makers and to strengthen rural community development.

”The focus on young adults in rural areas is vital for the resilience of rural communities,“ says Gabrielle Ferguson, leadership programs director at Rural Ontario Institute. “Future-focused leaders keep actions relevant and rural living attractive.”

“The Change Makers were selected with the understanding that they have already obtained impressive innovative qualities and know-how,” says Norman Ragetlie, executive director of Rural Ontario Institute. “We want to help accelerate and support these qualities so that they can be impactful within their community.”

By the end of the program, participants will be given the opportunity to facilitate sessions that discover high priority community issues and create plans to act. This program will provide them with support systems and coaching to aid them in their success.

Participants come from across the province and include:

Maggie McBride, Exeter,
Kaylee Coverdale, Freelton,
Emilie Leneveu, Quinte West,
Michelle Lutsch, Stoney Point,
Jacqueline Villeneuve, Hammer,
Sadie Mees, Trent Hills,
Elle Halladay, Lanark,
Sarah Kiar, Trent Hills,
Erin Cartan, Timmins,
Graham Taylor, Chatsworth,
Patrick Verkley, Middlesex,
Jackie Easson, Haldimand,
Jessica Easson, Haldimand,
Alexis Kuper, Mapleton/Minto,
Morgan Dykstra, South Huron,
Forrest Heard, Algoma,
Oliver Jacob, Renfrew,
Emily Kyle, Brant.

The Rural Ontario Institute is a non-profit organization that leads discussions and collaboration on issues affecting rural Ontario. It also run leadership programs like the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program and the Ontario Soil Network.

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