A fun group shot of the 2019-2020 LVI participants at their virtual graduation ceremony on June 11. (Submitted photo)

A fun group shot of the 2019-2020 LVI participants at their virtual graduation ceremony on June 11. (Submitted photo)

Leadership Vancouver Island students honoured with virtual ‘Gradzoomation’ ceremony

Grass-roots leadership program focused on community-building and reconciliation

The 2019-2020 cohort of Leadership Vancouver Island (LVI) – West Coast Chapter attended a ‘Gradzoomation’ ceremony on June 11.

There were nearly 40 attendees on the Zoom call including the 15 graduates, their families and friends, program supporters and local leadership.

The LVI graduates are community leaders from Hitacu, Ucluelet, Tofino and Opitsaht who started their program in October during a two-day retreat at the Aauuknuk lodge in Ahousaht.

Shortly before the pandemic hit, the participants were divided into three teams and began to work on community projects, applying their personal leadership plans through co-operation and service to their communities. The three projects are: PacRim Connect, an initiative to support volunteerism on the west coast through the creation and promotion of a facebook group to connect volunteers with projects (like the “Tofino Trading Post of Volunteerism”), a Healthy Cookboook to celebrate traditional ecological knowedge and promote community health, and a research planning project that lays the groundwork for the development of a regional “youth Leadership Vancouver Island” project that connects youth from west coast communities for place-based learning experiences. This is the fifth cohort of the regional leadership program, and there are now nearly 70 west coast residents who are alumni of this grass-roots leadership program focused on community-building and reconciliation.

LVI 2019-2020 participants listen to guest facilitator Maartan Van Wamel on the beach in Ahousaht during their opening retreat, which took place Sept. 26-27, 2019. (Mark McKeough photo)

LVI typically offers monthly learning days that take place in all west coast communities from Macoah to Hesquiaht, but part way through the year the class of 2020 had to massively pivot their learning days due to COVID-19.

LVI 2020 grad Colin Robinson was involved in the research project focusing on the Youth Leadership Program development.

“It really expanded my view of the diversity of challenges but also opportunities for youth growing up in the region. Looking forward to continuing the momentum into the future,” he said, adding that he highly recommends the LVI program.

“For me, the biggest takeaway was the importance of looking inward and focusing on the personal work any leader needs to do before they can be a compassionate, engaging, and effective leader. LVI provided the opportunity, support, and tools to do that reflective, personal work that I knew I wanted to do, but previously found hard to make the time for,” said Robinson.

LVI is a regional program accredited by Vancouver Island University. It is administered by the CBT and guided by local leaders in government, business, and non-profit organizations.

Leadership Vancouver Island from On the Beach on Vimeo.


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