With Canada is a program for students from across Canada
that offers them the opportunity to spend one week in the nation's
Encounters with Canada started in 1982, giving young people (from
ages 15 to 17) a chance to meet other students from different
backgrounds and regions, discover their country and learn more
about Canada's major institutions. Each year, more than 3,000
students take part in the program.
The week is focused towards the learning and understanding
of one particular topic of the students choice. The themes for
each week include: Business and Entrepreneurship, Sports and
Fitness, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Forum, Science and
Technology, Canadian Experience Law, Arts and Culture, Canada
and the World and Journalism and Communications.
For the staff and students at Roncalli,
Encounters With Canada is looked upon as a prestigious program
that offers fun and educational information to the youth of today.
It has in the past, directed youth in their future and answered
many concerning questions.
"From my past experience in having worked with students
who have participated in this program, I find they return a much
more knowledgeable, mature, and competent individual, says Ron
Chambers, the school principal.
However, not all students who apply to the program are chosen.
"This is because the program has a limited amount of
space. Each school that applies are only given two positions.
If participants from other schools back out, then the remaining
students are given fair opportunity," says Connie Powell,
a teacher sponsor at Roncalli.
"The applications are sent away and picked at random.
School averages and marks are not an issue in the selection process."
Karla Patey is one of the many students that applied for Encounters
With Canada and did not get picked.
"Although I was not picked to go to Ottawa, I wish I
would have been. I have heard that the experience was unforgettable.
I would have liked to meet other people and share in their ideas,"
Lori O'Keefe is a previous participant in the Encounters With
"It was an awesome experience! I'll never be able to
do something like this again so I am glad I had the opportunity.
The friendships and insightful information I gained will never
Overall, Encounters with Canada is an excellent program which
leads Canada's youth in a positive direction.