Fredericton youths named global ambassadors

Fredericton youths named global ambassadors
February 7, 2012
The Daily Gleaner – Frederiction, NB
Stephen Llewellyn


Tara Brinston and Anna Fricker, both of whom currently live in Fredericton, have been named 2012 global youth ambassadors by the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation.

They’re among eight Atlantic Canadians between the ages of 15 and 30 who are being recognized for playing a role in social justice and environmental sustainability. They’ll be part of the Active-8! campaign that started Feb. 5, the council said.

“We had so many wonderful nominations come in. It was hard to pick the top two in each province,” said Rena Kulczycki, the campaign co-ordinator.

“Young people are often widely thought of as apathetic and disengaged, but these eight are tearing down that stereotype.

“They are active citizens engaged in making communities better, locally and globally.”

She said the eight are excited to inspire and motivate others to join them.

“They are the reason we can have hope for the future,” said Kulczycki.

The Active-8! campaign is in its third year and began with International Development Week from Feb. 5-11, when the campaign website was launched.

Global youth ambassadors will promote activities in their province throughout the month to create positive change at home and around the world, from turning off the lights when leaving a room to donating to international food programs.

“I believe that all persons can make a contribution to others and to their community in their own unique way, and that everyone has gifts to share,” said Brinston, 27, who’s the director of programs for the New Brunswick Association for Community Living.

“It is an honour to be selected among this group of passionate, inspiring youth. I hope my work as a global youth ambassador will inspire others to take action and create a ripple effect that will eventually shape our communities into more cohesive places.”

She said her activism dates back to high school when she was involved with UNICEF.

She attended St. Thomas University and was involved in global citizenship leadership.

“It has always been something I am passionate about — human rights in general and, in specific, disability rights,” she said.

Brinston said as part of the campaign, she will be canvassing New Brunswickers, from school classrooms to university campuses, hoping to get them to commit to action.

“That could be anything from pledging to buy more local produce to turning the lights off when they leave a room to educating themselves on issues of international development and human rights,” she said.

Small actions can create ripple effects that change communities and the world, said Brinston.

Fricker, a Cape Breton Island resident who’s a first-year student at the University of New Brunswick’s Renaissance College, said it feels really good to be chosen a global youth ambassador.

“I’m really excited to get more involved in the community of Fredericton,” she said.

“It was wonderful to be able to meet the other youth ambassadors.

“They’ve accomplished so many things.”

Fricker heard about the program through Renaissance College.

“A couple of our professors recommended that the students apply for it,” she said.

“I was really just attracted to the idea of a program that highlighted the work youth were doing as global citizens and how young people were getting involved in … development and environmental sustainability.”

Fricker plans to minor in international development.

The UNB Centre for Property Studies — which specializes in international development, education and land administration — is the provincial lead for Active-8!

The Atlantic Council for International Cooperation is a coalition representing more than 70 organizations, institutions and individuals. It’s committed to achieving global sustainability in a peaceful and healthy environment, with social justice, human dignity, and participation for all.