St. John Ambulance now offers SJA Connect, a health, safety, and leadership development program for young people aged 14 to 19. It is designed to improve the health, safety, confidence and competencies of youth through training, volunteer service, and leadership opportunities.
“By delivering a variety of topics, youth learn useful skills essential for entering the workforce,” says Annette Deagle, Director of Operations & Community Service, St. John Ambulance-NS/ PEI Council.
“Along with First Aid, the program covers WHMIS, team leadership, personal risk and stress management, public speaking, team dynamics, and volunteer opportunities.”
Youth receive a SJA Connect Youth Leadership Certificate, a First Aid Certificate, and gain diverse leadership skills such as team building, conflict resolution, and citizenship. This national program was launched in 2018 and came to PEI in March 2019.
“To date, we have offered Level I of the program to 22 participants,” says Annette. “We plan to offer Level I again this year over two days during March break.”
Besides First Aid, Level I covers five topics: SJA in Canada, Why Volunteer, Team Dynamics, Conflict Resolution and Citizenship. It takes 10 hours to complete.
Topic options are relevant to real world skills and career paths. “Youth are encouraged to seek out volunteer opportunities within their communities at various non-profits, charitable organizations, or their high school or post-secondary institution.”
SJA Connect also looks for partnerships in the community with organizations that serve youth.
“These organizations can help increase the awareness of the value of community engagement, help develop life-long health and safety habits, and improve job readiness as they participate in diverse volunteer opportunities.”
Videos with testimonials
Life Skills Development:
Building Confident Community Leaders: