Neil Shibata: 2019 Youth Leadership Scholarship Recipient


Meet Neil Shibata, the 2019 Mackenzie Dickson Annika Raithby Youth Leadership Scholarship Recipient!

"As an ongoing participant in the Kids in the Spotlight program and a previous participant of Teens Alive I, II, and III, I am so grateful to receive the 2019 Mackenzie Dickson Annika Raithby Scholarship. I have been a participant for 10 years and an intern for six years. I respect and cherish this program as if it were my own. I recognise that the level of self-awareness and the awareness of others I have gained by attending Kids In The Spotlight is a quality that would otherwise have taken me a lifetime to understand. Outside of The Haven, I work with children and youth on a daily basis as a gymnastics coach. With the kinesiology undergrad I am currently studying, I have hopes of taking the education stream and becoming a secondary school teacher. The experience I have received from leading and attending Kids In The Spotlight is a training I would not be able to find elsewhere. This scholarship means a lot to me as I believe it is an experience that will strongly affect my life for the better and assist me in pursuing my future goals. I have hopes to further explore what it takes to put my personal needs aside and to be fully present for others. Again, I am honored to receive this scholarship and my thanks go out to Laurie Kelley and Scott Poole, for not only allowing me to have such an experience but allowing many other youths in previous and future years to also experience this journey."

The Mackenzie Dickson Annika Raithby Youth Leadership Scholarship, funded by Laurie Kelley and Scott Poole, allows one Youth Leader per year to have an intensive leadership experience at The Haven. The Youth Leader is part of the leadership team for all five offerings of Kids In The Spotlight as well as the training program leading up to them. The Youth Leader has one day off and then joins the leadership team for Teens Alive l, ll and lll as well as taking part in the training program leading up to them ... all in all, the Youth Leader is here at The Haven for almost seven straight weeks, working closely with Denise Goldbeck, David Raithby and Linda Nicholls. 

Laurie and Scott were inspired to create the Mackenzie Dickson Annika Raithby Youth Leadership Scholarship because they noticed the exemplary leadership skills Mackenzie and Annika developed through working in the KITS and Teens Alive teams and wanted to foster this quality mentoring for other young people.

The past recipients of the Scholarship are an awesome group of people with amazing skills for working with others in supportive and creative ways. 

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