BY: CHELSEA OWUSU
After a successful season of workshops, the EDGE youth program recognizes and celebrates its participants with a formal Ball, known as the EDGE Cotillion.
The EDGE (Empower. Develop. Grow. Engage.) youth program offers Black youth between the ages of 16 and 20, a unique and transformative experience to help them enhance and develop various skills. “The EDGE provides diverse workshops that expose participants to information and techniques not offered in a conventional classroom. Participants are engaged in a variety of leadership workshops, team-building exercises and we also offer a weekend retreat,” says Serena Thompson, a member of the 2017 Planning Committee.
This year’s EDGE Ball was held on Saturday, July 22nd at the Delta Toronto East Hotel. The recipient of this year’s Beau of The Year honour was awarded to Tyreke Small, and the recipient of the Debutante of The Year honour was awarded to Sierra Campbell. The recipients will now serve as ambassadors of the program for the following year. “They will also be called upon to assist with year-long press and stewardship activities to promote the program,” says Thompson. The EDGE Ball included a gourmet meal, guest speakers, performances by the 2017 graduates, and a multi-talented band.
The EDGE program was designed to empower and motivate participants through a number of different leadership workshops, team-building exercises, and included a weekend retreat. This year’s retreat was held at Camp Oneness, in partnership with Brandon Street Foundation. The workshops are held throughout the spring and end towards the beginning of the summer.
“As participants travel through this journey, we quickly establish the importance of adapting the skills and techniques they will gain while participating in the program,” says Thompson. According to the program’s website, the focus of EDGE is to teach participants the poise and tenacity that will help them make bold and lasting first impressions. The program focuses on bringing out the best value in its students and guide them in finding their passion. The EDGE program promotes support and respect for their peers in a safe and non-judgemental environment.
“I am so proud to be a part of this program that changes and impacts young lives,” says Pat Gloudon, Co-Chair of the program.
Interested participants can visit the EDGE website for more information and to enroll, at www.edgeprogram.net or contact via email at email@example.com