Drummer Pierre  Roos and singer/guitarist Melissa Yano with Vernon band Modern Folk are back this year to perform at the second annual Youth Achievement and Appreciation Festival

Drummer Pierre Roos and singer/guitarist Melissa Yano with Vernon band Modern Folk are back this year to perform at the second annual Youth Achievement and Appreciation Festival

Say YAA to youth

The second annual Youth Achievement and Appreciation (YAA) Festival promotes youth accomplishment and provides information on community resources for youth and their families.

“We wanted to create an opportunity to celebrate positive contributions of youth and it’s a fun way to let them know about youth services,” said Kim Lauritsen, program manager for the Corrections Career Centre, which sponsors the festival with funding from Service Canada.

Last year, the festival saw  400 youth attend and everyone really enjoyed the live music, skateboarding and free food, added  Lauritsen.

“Some commented that they found out about agencies that they might never have approached otherwise.”

A member of the community-based youth services team, made up of representatives of all youth-serving agencies in the North Okanagan, is working with the team on the festival.

Youth health agencies and sports and other clubs of interest to youth, will have information booths.

There will be a Career Fair with representatives from local   employment agencies, educational institutions and major employers. The Little Black Book, a pocket-size resource book for youth, will be re-launched, including a new, on-line version.

“We were pleasantly surprised with the interest last year and the feedback which told us that the youth felt included and recognized,” said Lauritsen.

Any youth group, youth sport or youth-involved service is welcome to participate. For more information on how to register (no cost) an organization or business call Kim Applegate at 250-549-5533. To participate in the career fair as an exhibitor call Kara Kazimer at 250-545-2215 (ext. 211).

Youth teens to age 24 are invited to attend and their families are also welcome. There is a free barbecue for all youth attending.

The Youth Achievement and Appreciation Festival takes place from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 19 at Polson Park.