City to host first annual Teen Empowerment Day

Speakers include convicted impaired driver Chad Olsen

  • Oct. 9, 2013 2:48 p.m.

Teens are invited to join in on a new event to Red Deer entitled Teen Empowerment Day.

Event organizer, Nicole Maurier, said the idea for the event stemmed from realizing there was a lack of events of the self-betterment variety in the City.

“I know for me personally I have taken a lot of personal development courses and a lot of times had to travel out of Red Deer for them,” said Maurier.

She added that having a 15-year-old daughter added to her knowledge of the daily struggles of being a teenager. “Having a teenager with teenage friends I hear the challenges that teens are faced with and I realized that Red Deer doesn’t have anything like this outside of the schools or camps where the teens can attend an all-day event.”

The event will be at Red Deer College on Nov. 23 and is an all-day event full of speakers, demonstrations, free lunch and even free t-shirts.

Maurier said the event is for teenagers aged 13-17 and admission is free. One of the speakers is Miss Teen Red Deer, Madison Fertig. “She has just been crowned Miss Teen Red Deer and lost her really close long-time friend to suicide in February, so she will be sharing her experience and the impact that suicide has on friends.”

Parents Nicole and Dean Williams whose son was Fertig’s friend will also be in attendance and speaking about the impact of suicide on family. AJ Mahoney, a teacher at Notre Dame, will speak about the school community aspect of a loss to suicide.

“Then we also have Chad Olsen. He is pretty well-known based on his ordeal. He will be speaking about the impact of drinking and driving based on his experience and his decision to drive under the influence.”

Maurier said Olsen’s goal is to empower teens to make smart choices and know what consequences they are facing if they make poor decisions. “What I liked about Chad is that he reminds me a lot of just anybody’s kid. He was 21 at the time, was drinking, and made the choice to drive and now he’s seeing the consequences that will forever have on his life.”

It’s important to see the life altering side of an impaired driving incident from another perspective, said Maurier. She said usually it’s the victim or their family that speaks, so she hopes Olsen’s perspective will really speak to the teens.

There are some other speakers attending as well including a martial arts teacher and two international motivational speakers. The event has room for approximately 500 teens to take part, and Maurier said there is already a confirmed group of students coming up from Calgary. It is not only an opportunity to hear from some speakers, but also speak to other teens.

She hopes the event will become an annual event that people can look forward to and plan on. “What I love about hosting this here in Red Deer is that it’s central so it’s not just for Red Deer but for also all of the teens from surrounding areas.”

For more information or to register visit http://teenempowermentday.eventzilla.net.

kpalardy@reddeerexpress.com

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