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Kahnawake Survival School students heading into their final year of high school were at McGill University Friday being introduced to something unique.
Eagle Spirit Camp and newly minted Academy.
McGill has hosted the Eagle Spirit Camp for nine years annually on the May long weekend, and expanded the program to form the Eagle Spirit Academy this year.
“The academy is meant to make the communications with the youth and McGill University and our outreach initiative more congruent and make things easier for youth to facilitate access to McGill University,” said facilitator Jessica Barudin.
Students and staff from different faculties, as well as athletic teams and other organizations spoke with the KSS students Friday about the university, and gave advice on how to put together a winning application, apply for scholarships and gain confidence to attend the post-secondary institution should they desire to.
“We go to it for them to make a connection and to help the students to pursue and encourage them for higher education,” said coordinator from KSS Petal McComber.
KSS student Belle Phillips is interested in pursuing a post-secondary degree in the health sciences field and took part in Friday’s introduction.
“I enjoyed the Eagle Spirit presentation,” she said. “I found it cool how you did hands-on activities while at the camp. I am very interested in going this coming year.”
Barudin has been involved with the camp for the last few years, and is part of the team establishing the long-term academy.
“The academy is just to keep the connection going,” she said. “It’s a bridge platform to keep connected with the youth. It’s really for the youth to build upon leadership skills and any training, and to learn how to access the university programs.”
KSS students have participated in the Eagle Spirit Camp since its inception.
Last year’s camp MVP was KSS student Nic Styres.
“I found it very inspiring in many ways,” said Styres. “It gives you that little push to get out of the shy box and get friendly and meet new people. I also learned a lot of new things.”
A video of last year’s camp was posted on the Eagle Spirit Academy’s YouTube channel, and shows the variety of sporting and educational activities the students participated in.
For the 10th annual camp in May, attendees will also have access to scholarships for McGill.