Recruitment underway for Rural Change Makers program

GUELPH – The Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) has announced recruitment is open for the Rural Change Makers program 2021-22. With the support of sponsorship partner Libro Credit Union, this program will build on the pilot supported in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs.

The program welcomes applications from “engaged young leaders, eager to mobilize action around issues important to their communities,” the ROI states in an Oct. 1 press release.

“Today’s youth represent the future leadership of rural Ontario,” says ROI executive director Ellen Sinclair.  “Engaging young people in leadership roles is integral to retention of youth in rural towns.”

The deadline for applications is Oct. 31. Interviews will be held in November, when up to 30 young adults will be selected.

Starting in December, the leaders will participate in a series of developmental training sessions and together undertake experiential learning opportunities to realize rural development outcomes identified by their communities.

“Our track record from the 2020 Rural Change Makers Pilot shows that youth engaged in this program are more hopeful about the future of their rural communities, have a greater sense of belonging, feel more equipped to lead and are more likely to stay in their communities to work and live,” said ROI leadership programs director Gabrielle Ferguson.

“These are important outcomes for the future of all rural Ontario communities.”

The Rural Ontario Institute is a non-profit organization committed to developing leaders and facilitating collaboration on issues and opportunities facing rural and northern Ontario communities.