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Youth skateboard making program launches in Mayo this fall

Sunrise Absorb is a community and youth-led after-school skateboard making & entrepreneurship program that will be operating out of JV Clark School in Mayo in time for the start of the 2023/2024 school year.

Developed and run in collaboration between Carleton University, JV Clark School, and supported by Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Development Corporation and the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, the program is designed to foster entrepreneurship and community building while promoting cultural expression and language revitalization, increasing school attendance and fostering healthy outdoor recreation in a way that is relevant to and wanted by community youth. Students will collaborate on the development and selling of their board, working together on how to invest profits from their work for the betterment of their community. Of course, students will get to keep a board they make of their choosing.

The idea for Sunrise Absorb began in 2020 during collaboration between community youth and Carleton University Business Students students for a mural on the Mayo Foods building. After the success of this project, community youth were eager for another art-related initiative. Skateboards became the ideal catalyst for the next step as they are a merge between creative expression, recreation, and are relevant to youth interests. Since then, collaboration between project partners and engagement with community youth has led to this year-long pilot project taking shape as an after school drop-in program operating out of JV Clark School.

“This program goes beyond skateboards; it serves as a catalyst for self-discovery, fostering a profound sense of self-worth and belief in their own abilities. By engaging in the collaborative process of building, designing and selling their own skateboards, these young individuals will be discovering their true potential and realizing their ability to create remarkable works of art. It’s about helping our Youth remember or discover their gifts, inspiring them towards self-determination.”

- Julia Spriggs, Chief Reinvestment Officer, Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Development Corporation

"I'm excited about partnering with the youth in Mayo to design and create awesome skateboards! Our team is fully prepared to collaborate with all participants, fostering an entrepreneurial spirit."

- Brett Stauffer, Program Lead

“This has been a wonderful opportunity for Carleton students to work together with community youth on a meaningful project that has great potential. We are looking forward to continuing this relationship and working with the project lead to make it a great success”

- Troy Anderson, Carleton University

This year-long project has been made possible through the dedicated support from Yukon Government’s Community Development Fund. Once the project has been established, phase two anticipates the launching of a web store where youth skateboards will be made available for purchase Canada-wide. This next phase hopes to add to the skill-building opportunities as it will provide youth with the knowledge and experience in running an e-commerce platform. An entrepreneurial initiative that is possible from any Yukon Traditional Territory. The program is scheduled to kick off on October 19th, running weekly from 3:30-5pm at the JV Clark School in Mayo. Students in grades 6-12 are invited to participate. To stay up to date on program details and how to get involved, parents are asked to fill out permission slips available to download here.

Sunrise Absorb is grateful to receive dedicated support from the Yukon Government’s Community Development Fund.


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