VIU IN THE NEWS - INTRO TO TRADES PROGRAM TURNING LIVES AROUND

May 9, 2013 - 3:58pm

By Lexi Bainas, Cowichan Valley Citizen


Published: Friday, May 10, 2013


Intro to Trades. It's a deceptively simple name for a program that is having a big impact on the lives and futures of local First Nations students.


"We've got former gang members who've thrown all that away because we are making a difference. They don't need that false security they thought they had," said Joe Thorne, as he explained to a packed school board meeting about the results of the aboriginal focus dual credit program.


"What we're seeing now is an awakening that there is an opportunity, that they're not going to be just second class citizens. They're going to be progressive citizens, the future of construction."


"Before you'd have just seen kids like these walking around the streets. We used to call them mall rats. Now they're being successful," he said.


The program is a partnership between Cowichan Tribes, Vancouver Island University and the Cowichan Valley School District. The idea is to offer new avenues towards jobs in the trades for First Nations students, and there's a lot to be excited about, said Thorne.


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