Kent Peterson, one of the organizers of Saturday's Youth Action Summit in Regina, says participants typically present as timid and unsure of themselves.
But that changes, as Peterson saw while watching one former summit attendee bloom into an impassioned advocate of safe cycling — on Saskatoon TV news, no less.
"It's very empowering to see a 16-year-old kid say, 'You know what? No. I want to see my city become bicycle friendly and I'm the one who's going to lead the change,'" says Peterson.
Reconciliation to the talk of the summit
This year's summit, which took place at the Ramada Plaza and drew over 50 people at its height, centred around the theme of reconciliation.
"I'm not directly impacted in my personal life, so it's learning about what actually happened so I can relay that and help the people who were impacted," said summit participant Jaclyn Brears of Warman, Sask.
Fellow attendee Meghan Pryor of Dundurn, Sask., said she was encouraged at the summit by "how many other people there are that want to get involved. We're out here. We all can do something if we come together."
Peterson says this year's summit was open to people ranging considerably in age, from teenagers to people in their early 30s.
"It's for any young person who's interested in learning some leadership skills and learning how to put those skills to action in high school or the workplace or back in their community," he said.