Merits of youth caucus lauded

Duane Hicks

In 2010, Aaron Petrin attended Global Vision’s annual National Youth Ambassador Caucus in Ottawa.
Five years later, he has become a local connector to promote the event, which takes places June 5-8 this year.
NYAC will see 100 of Canada’s top young leaders gather in Ottawa to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the national flag of Canada, learn more about Canada, as well as showcase their ideas for local community events to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017.
They also will engage with business, education, government, and community leaders from across Canada on issues of national importance.
Speaking from his own experience, Petrin wholeheartedly endorses district youth aged 15-25, with aspirations of leadership, to apply to attend.
“Think about the most transformational period of your life—a time that defined you as an individual and set the course of your life,” said Petrin.
“For me, that occurred in large part thanks to getting involved with a Canadian charitable organization called Global
Vision,” he noted.
“They provided me with an opportunity to take the most priceless advice I got in university—get out of your comfort zone,” Petrin remarked.
“I’m in a similar role with Global Vision now, hoping to promote this opportunity in our communities.”
Petrin said there’s several reasons as to why he’s taken on this role.
“Why? Because an opportunity to grow local talent is right before us,” he noted.
“It’s a unique form of homegrown economic development
designed to develop young people as future leaders.
“Because Fort Frances and Rainy River District currently have the attention of a national organization whose goal is to develop young people by connecting them with like minds, and with leaders of business and society.
“Because it’s aligned with my own goals, one of which is to pay it forward,” Petrin continued.
“And by that, I mean sharing the tremendous personal and career value that I’ve gained from my experiences with this organization.”
Petrin had the good fortune of participating in the youth caucus many times, met the right people at the right moment in his life, and now has a chance to share that opportunity locally.
Back in 2010, Petrin was attending the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba and about to turn the page on his final year of university.
“Like many students in that position, I was very excited, yet uncertain, of what the future held for me,” he admitted.
“So like many, I got involved as a volunteer,” he recalled.
“In doing so, I met some very important connectors in my life. “And by extension, I found
some clarity regarding the uncertainty that I was facing.
“That winter, I learned about an opportunity to attend a Global Leader’s Centre through GV in Winnipeg,” Petrin said.
“It promised to challenge world views while expanding one’s professional network, and therefore helping to develop some of the skills we would need to not only succeed but to thrive as a young person in today’s business world,” he noted.
“And in doing so, we also had the opportunity to compete for a seat ‘At the Table’ of My Summit 2010, a GV-led youth event running parallel to the G8/G20 Summit in Toronto that year,” he added.
This was promoted as a prime opportunity for Canadian youth to represent their region on an international level while also growing their own “brand” as individuals and young professionals.
“The leadership experience certainly spoke to me, being an eager and inexperienced upcoming graduate,” Petrin said.
“But what really impacted me was a personal story from a young Canadian named Jean-François Carrey.
“JF explained to our group that as a young man, his goal in life had been to climb Mount Everest,” he recounted.
“I was primed by his sense of youthful adventure, and was impressed to learn that he had raised $100,000 during the sixyear process of planning and preparing for his adventure.”
Aside from the risk, exhilaration, and danger involved in this feat, JF spoke of the many setbacks his team faced as they scaled Earth’s highest mountain.
This included extreme weather, avalanches, and an ice slide the size of a bus, which sadly took a member and leader of his team.
Faced with the decision of turning back, they persevered onward. And on May 18, 2006, they began their final steps toward the peak.
By morning, they had reached the summit. At age 24, JF had become the youngest Canadian to climb Mount Everest.
“JF sat atop the summit for about 20 minutes, watching the sun rise upon the world from far above the clouds,” Petrin said.
“As he described a feeling that many of us could never imagine, I realized what a perfect metaphor his story was.
And that we were actually a part of it.
“It was a regional metaphor for the opportunity before us,” Petrin explained. “As this event was essentially a recruiting event for GV and a screening tool for ‘My Summit’ that summer.
“And it was a global metaphor for the human experience; one that’s common to us all yet uniquely our own—regardless of the differences that we allow to come between us,” he added.
Participating in the Global Leader’s Centre allowed Petrin and his fellow attendees to apply as delegates to the same event that he’s now helping to promote through GV in our community—the National Youth Ambassador Caucus.
“Taking part in this event can lead to many different opportunities to get involved, and a springboard for leadership roles in the community,” said Petrin.
“Through this, you can create your own personal brand, and gain experience and skills unavailable in the classroom—ones that you’ll have the chance to showcase on your résumés, regardless of the direction you go in life.”
Petrin is working closely with GV director Amy Giroux. His role is to promote the opportunity as GV has its own selection process, which is quite straightforward.
However, he’s also here as a local support who has been through this process several times.
“It’s likely the most inexpensive leadership event you’ll find,” Petrin remarked.
“I’ve committed to being a local point of contact to help explain what students and parents need to know about the event.
“Through this, we’re hoping to recruit local youth who would embrace the opportunity to take away leadership, mentorship, inspiration, and new ideas for business opportunities back home,” he explained.
“In doing so, they will be creating their brand and enhancing the recognition of Fort Frances and the surrounding region.”
Global Vision is selecting 100 leaders from across the country for this event. The only qualifier is being an active citizen in your community, with a passion for Canada.
Youth aged 15-25 generally get the most out of the program, however, GV has been known to make exceptions for the right candidate.
The registration cost for a delegate from our region is $250 plus tax. This includes transportation to and from the conference, accommodations, meals, and registration fees.
The only additional cost would be for travel to and from the Winnipeg airport.
Information about how to apply can be found at
Those interested can also contact the program office at 1-888-829-2838.
“Locally, I’d be happy to answer any questions about my experience with GV and what you can expect,” said Petrin.
Feel free to contact him with any questions you may have via e-mail at