Students from Gateway Christian School recently returned from a life changing trip to the Dominican Republic as part of their Intercultural Studies program.
Gateway’s 2023 Co-Impact Team, which included 13 students, two staff and an additional chaperone, spent 10 days on the ground over Spring Break connecting with other students and families to help to build a basketball court and physical education area at the Pena de Horeb school via Edudeo Ministries. Pena de Horeb is primarily a Haitian school, serving the students and families amidst a very poor Haitian neighbourhood. In the months leading up to the trip, Gateway students raised funds to help assist with the build. Gateway also spent a significant amount of time building relationships with and learning from students and staff at their partner school, El Colegio Cristiano Reformado Los Guandules.
“Service is an important part of the culture at Gateway, and this experience was the culmination of that. The Co-Impact Team fundraised not only for their trip, but also for funds to go towards the school we worked on in the Dominican Republic,” said Geannette Lehman, Principal at Gateway Christian School. “The trip was part of their Intercultural Students class, which they receive credit for. We met weekly at 7:15 a.m. to complete aspects of the Intercultural Studies course, bond as a team, and prepare craft lessons and activities to teach students at the school in the Dominican. It was not only a great experience in the Dominican, but in preparing for the trip as a team as well.”Alexa Huska, Gabe Gillies, and Kate Stober were three students who were part of the Co-Impact Team.
“It was really neat to connect with my fellow Grade 12 students,” said Alexa. “We’ve gone to school together since we were kids, so to have an experience like this together was really special. We were able to connect on a deeper level.”
Gabe added it was humbling to see how grateful those in the Dominican Republic were, even for the smallest things. “They have little compared to us, and they are just so happy,” he said. “They are grateful for the things they have and they don’t stress about the small stuff.”
Kate agreed. “They have so much joy, and nothing mattered other than just being with one another,” she said.
Ultimately, it was a great experience for all involved.
“The kids were greatly impacted by seeing the world through another lens. Our lens is so different from those around the world,” said Geannette, adding she is proud of her students. “They gave up their Spring Break, immersed themselves in another culture, and represented Gateway and Red Deer Public so well.”
To read Gateway’s Co-Impact Team’s blog of their experiences, click here.
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Shelly Flint Appointed as New CEO of Westerner Park
Westerner Park, a distinguished agricultural society and premier exhibition venue in the heart of Central Alberta, is pleased to announce Shelly Flint as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This decision culminates a thorough and extensive search process, with the Board of Directors expressing their enthusiasm for the promising journey ahead under Shelly’s leadership.
Tyler Nightingale, President of the Board of Directors, shared his excitement about the appointment, stating, “After a comprehensive search, we are thrilled to welcome Shelly. Her extensive experience, skill set, and knowledge align seamlessly with the strategic direction of Westerner Park, ensuring a positive and enduring impact on both the organization and the community at large.”
Tara Lodewyk, Red Deer City Manager, added, “Shelly immediately connected with the mission of Westerner Park and the value it brings to the culture of our city and region. We are looking forward to working together and are confident in her leadership of Westerner Park.”
For the past two decades, Shelly has served as a senior executive, spearheading diverse teams within Alberta’s dynamic entertainment and finance sectors. Her tenure as the former CFO at the Calgary Stampede equips her with a distinctive insight into the intricacies of Westerner Park, enabling her to adeptly navigate its challenges and leverage its opportunities. Coupled with her roots in Central Alberta, Shelly is poised to steer the Park towards growth and long-term sustainability.
Shelly expressed her eagerness to join Westerner Park, saying, “I was thrilled at the opportunity to return to Central Alberta, where I grew up! Leading this purpose-driven organization will allow me to contribute to my community and affect meaningful change.”
Shelly Flint’s robust leadership, commitment to community, and extensive experience makes her an exceptional choice to lead Westerner Park into the future. The entire Westerner Park team eagerly anticipates the positive impact she will bring to this renowned institution.
About Westerner Park
Westerner Park is Central Alberta’s largest tradeshow, agricultural, sports, entertainment, and convention facility. A not-for-profit organization and agricultural society, Westerner Park typically generates $150 million annually in economic activity, hosting over 1,500 events and 1.5 million visitors each year.
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