REACH Edmonton

More than 250 people attended this year’s REACH AGM and Showcase Celebration June 8, which focused on the work being done to build leadership capacity among Edmonton’s youth through the Police and Youth Engagement Program (PYEP).

The event featured a panel discussion including youth, police and educators to discuss the work of the summer program that gives teenagers a chance to earn high school credits while developing positive relationships with the Edmonton Police Service and building community leadership skills.

The panel included two youth participants who later came back as youth leaders, a participating member of the Edmonton Police Service and the teacher who provided the curriculum for the course.

“I have been fortunate enough to work on the Police Youth Engagement Program for the past four years. This is a community-driven program with leaders from a number of cultures planning to ensure PYEP is successful,” said EPS Supt. Terry Rocchio. “It’s great to see youth engage with our officers in a comfortable setting and begin to develop relationships and trust. The officers that present at PYEP get as much out of the interaction as the youth.”

Both the youth said the program has had a lasting effect on their lives and their roles in their communities.

“I can’t see myself without being involved in PYEP. It just made a huge impact in my life,” said Luna Ghebermichael, a part PYEP participant and youth leader who sat on the panel discussion.

“I think I would be lost, I wouldn’t know what to do with my career because it taught me how to be a good leader to my community. I can’t imagine my life without it.”

For a recording of the AGM and Showcase Celebration on REACH Edmonton’s YouTube page, click here.