Byron Knox and Drew Desaulniers were the two SAMS students participating in this year's 'Skills For Life Summit'

Skills for Life Summit connects local SAMS students with B.C. Lions

Watching the BC Lions score a touchdown and then joining them the next day for workshops on various trades and anti-bullying campaigns

Watching the BC Lions score a touchdown and then joining them the next day for workshops on various trades and anti-bullying campaigns is just some of the excitement surrounding two local Sir Alexander Mackenzie School students, all a part of the groundwork when you’re a spectator during the final regular season CFL game while also being a participate of the province’s Find Your Fit program.

Enter the 2015 B.C. Lion’s Skills for Life Summit. “Byron Knox and Drew Desaulniers, along with SAMS Youthcare worker, Lorri Tuck flew on a Friday, and on Saturday, where 3 of the many spectators at the Lions last regular season game,” Principal of SAMS, Jeremy Baillie explained. “Then on Sunday is when the actual summit with the B.C. Lions took place.”

Half of the summit is focused on Find Your Fit, a province-wide educational program aimed at students from grade 7 – 9 in an effort to teach them about trades and offer a head start for some hands-on learning, as well as potential dual credits and apprenticeships.

“It’s a great program.  I was lucky enough to take two students to it last year.  There’s just been a real focus within the school system, around the Find Your Fit program specifically, and exposing students more to what kind of job opportunities are out there, or are predicted to be out there,” Baillie says of the unusual partnership between the Lions and the province’s trades industry.

The other half of the summit is more to the style of the CFL’s community engagement. “The B.C. Lions have a couple of programs they’ll be offering on Sunday around ‘Erase Bullying’ and ‘Be More Than a Bystander’, so that certainly addresses bullying issues in schools – around the community – as well they shine a light on the issues around violence towards females,” said Baillie.

Both Byron and Drew were pretty excited to be going and looked forward to learning about “all the jobs that they can be doing when they grow up, and tell everybody about ‘Erase Bullying’.”   While the boys were in Vancouver they also took in the most recent production of Cirque de Soleil – “Kooza” and went to Canada Place for “Fly over Canada”, an interactive experience, where participants experience what it would be like to fly completely over Canada.

The 2015 B.C. Lion’s Skills for Life Summit is a joint effort between the Ministry of Education, the B.C. Lions, and Pacific NorthWest LNG. A total of 122 students from across the province (two from each school district) were chosen for the trip to Vancouver.