WELLINGTON – Nov. 26, 2020 – Stéphane Blanchard was very impressed by the performance of the Hard Workers Youth Services Co-op last summer while the province was in the midst of a pandemic. “They were aptly named Hard Workers!” says the youth development officer from RDÉE Prince Edward Island, the organization that oversees the co-op.
Blanchard indicated that this summer’s six youth generated as much revenue ($5,028) as the eight youth from the previous summer ($5,079). « This year, they obtained fewer contracts for odd jobs, mainly because of COVID-19, but they entered into partnerships with organizations such as Jeunesse acadienne et francophone de l’ÎPÉ, the Collège de l’Île, the French Language School Board, and the Conseil scolaire-communautaire Évangéline, which have been very beneficial to them financially.”
General tasks they did this year included painting, cleaning, gardening and building a picnic table. Through the partnerships, they built a greenhouse and painted rainbow-colored crosswalks in front of six French schools and two college campuses.
They also built 16 park benches, sold 10 and donated one as a promotional prize at the beginning of the season. That leaves five benches and materials to build at least four more.
« In addition, » notes the youth officer, « at the beginning of the season, because of the pandemic, the youth had set a goal of earning only $100 each over the course of the summer. However, at the end of the season, they realized that they had pocketed total wages of $2,290, ranging from just over $200 to just under $600 per worker, depending on the amount of work done. They are therefore very satisfied with their summer because they earned two to six times as much money as expected. »
Blanchard says the young workers learned many new skills, including construction and other types of manual work. And, of course, they learned the basic concepts of how co-ops and boards of directors work. In fact, the youth themselves took care of their business affairs and made all the necessary decisions.
The development officer finds that the youth have developed a sense of pride in being able to do their jobs – especially in regard to the rainbow crosswalks, which they see every day in front of their school and which are seen and noticed by hundreds of people every day in various parts of the province. The development officer felt that the youth were also proud to have been able to participate in this gesture of inclusion of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
The youth can be seen at work in a professional video produced this summer: https://youtu.be/HJgnNvyi094.
PHOTO 1: Three of the Youth Services Co-op members – from left, Marianne Gagnon, Lucy Francis and Annie-Pier Morency – worked on the construction of a greenhouse, under the supervision of Stéphane Blanchard, last summer.
PHOTO 2: Worker-members of the Hard Workers Youth Services Co-op as they cut a ribbon to officially launch their work season last July: from left, vice-president Lucy Francis, co-secretary Keera Arsenault, president Annie-Pier Morency, co-secretary Danika Richard and co-treasurers Marianne Gagnon and Ramsay Gallant.
For more information, please contact:
Youth Development Officer
RDÉE Prince Edward Island