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SUBJECT: Grenfell: Grenfell grad chosen to participate in international youth leadership summit

DATE: Aug. 13

            Jackie Mercer will learn firsthand the issues being experience by youth in Mexico.
            The Grenfell psychology grad, who hails from Grand Falls-Windsor, is one of three Canadians chosen to travel to Tijuana in October to participate in “Mano a Mano sin Fronteras” or “Hand to Hand without Borders,” a trilateral youth exchange program of the YMCAs of Canada, the United States and Mexico.
            Since 1991, more than 450 youth from Mexico, Canada, the United States, as well as countries in South and Central America have participated in the program. The program will focus on global changes that affect youth, civic engagement and community development, empowering its participants to be agents of change and creating fellowship and networks among youth leaders in the Americas.
            “I’m really excited – I can’t wait to start,” said Ms. Mercer, who will begin a master’s degree in rural planning and development at the University of Guelph in the fall. “This is a wonderful opportunity that has been afforded to me because of the volunteer work I do at the Humber Community YMCA here in Corner Brook. I am a member of the YMCA’s International Committee for Community Development.”
            The committee is currently partnering with the Honduras to promote fair trade through such initiatives as the “Just Us” coffee brand.
            “Through the summit’s working sessions, I will be investigating global issues like poverty and community development,” said Ms. Mercer. “I’m looking forward to getting out in the community and seeing for myself how youth in Mexico are living.”
            In addition to the working sessions, the summit will include an open forum, a Mexican culture night, a cultural gift exchange, a tour of the Mexican-U.S. border, and a service learning project that focuses on migrant homes located along the Mexican – U.S. border. Titled Casas YMCA, the homes project has assisted more than 52,000 youth who have been detained or deported by the United States government.
            While the majority of the costs associated with the summit will be taken care of, Ms. Mercer is responsible for conducting some fundraising for the initiative. To contact Ms. Mercer, email

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