Teens across Vancouver Island are getting excited about graduation – from one grade to the next, or that final leap, from high school to life as a young adult.
But how do they learn about their rights as a tenant? How to cook on a budget? How to use a credit card wisely?
That’s where a one-day workshop called “Get Your Ship Together” comes in.
“If a landlord says ‘Oh yeah, and I want three months rent in advance just to protect me…’ your answer is ‘No.’
Al Kemp and a group of high school students are sitting around the campfire, but there’s no roasting marshmallows here – this is a workshop all about renting.
“We’re talking about landlords, and tenants, rights and responsibilities…” explains Kemp, President of a company known as Help 4 Landlords.
“When you think about it,” adds Kemp “within a few years, probably everyone of the kids here will be entering into some kind of a rental…”
Kemp’s workshop is one of five sessions offered at the first, of what the organizers hope will become an annual event, “Get Your Ship Together.”
“It’s amazing! I feel so lucky to have this opportunity!” gushes Grade 10 Royal Bay Secondary student Abigail Waters.
And what are they learning about? “Taxes and budgeting, and that kinda fun stuff…” says Nicholas Johal, also in Grade 10 at Royal Bay Secondary.
This one-day of various workshops is the brainchild of a team from Leadership Victoria, a volunteer organization committed to shaping the leaders of tomorrow.
“It’s about developing community leaders.” says Kemp, who’s been part of the organization for two decades.
“People that will take their place in our community in both organizations and not-for profits and so forth…that’s what it’s all about.”
This team wanted to offer young people a day of learning life skills.
One of the Leadership Victoria team members, Renn Madeleine Bibau explains how the team came up with topics for the workshops.
“We comprised a survey that went out…we blasted out, I think about five-thousand copies, to all different areas, and then with that information that we got back, that’s how we structured our day.”
Grade 10 Royal Bay Secondary student Jesse Church is impressed with what he’s learned at “Get Your Ship Together.
“I’ve taken cooking classes in school…but I think I learned more [today]”
Church points out that the workshop looked at “making food when you don’t have a lot of money, or you don’t have a lot of ingredients, instead of going out, buying too many expensive ingredients, and making a really nice meal for no reason.”
Another Royal Bay Secondary grade 10 student, Danica Neral, is enthusiastic about the one-day event.
“I’ve learned so much about writing resumes, and tenancy agreements and renting, and we’re also doing workshops about taxes and stuff…
“We also had a workshop on mindfullness and stress management, which was really fun just to be walking around out in nature.”
Bibau sums up her joy at the end of the successful day with a goal the Leadership Victoria team shares:
“It’s our great hope that this will be carried on, and we’ll have a legacy with this project.”