Nova Scotia

North Preston's Future aims to create change in the community

Community member Miranda Cain started a group to empower teens and young adults in North Preston.

Community member Miranda Cain started the group to empower the next generation

North Preston's Future working with the Mobile Food Market. (Submitted by Miranda Cain)

If you type "North Preston's Finest" into Google, you'll likely come up with references to a crime gang, but some people in North Preston, N.S., want to change that.

NPF is now the acronym for a new group called North Preston's Future. Twelve teens and young adults are getting paid to do work around their community this summer.

"We're gonna claim back that name because it really doesn't belong to anybody, so now it belongs to this ... organization — and it belongs to the community," Miranda Cain, the woman behind this new group, told CBC's Information Morning.

'I am North Preston's Finest'

Cain started out calling the group North Preston's Finest, but it now goes by North Preston's Future. You can't have the future without the finest, Cain said. 

"What nobody's really getting is that when we're proud of something we do, whatever it is, we're North Preston's Finest," Cain said.

"I am North Preston's Finest. My mom, who's 70 years old, is North Preston's Finest. Our Pastor is North Preston's Finest."

North Preston's Future is looking out for the community.

"I want our kids to have a better future," Cain said. "We wanna empower each other. And we wanna be proud to be where we're from."

Twelve teens and young adults from North Preston are working with North Preston's Future for the summer. (Submitted by Miranda Cain)

Community work

Cain applied for funding from the Canada Revenue Agency and didn't think she'd get it because of stereotypes around the name of the group.

The funding came through for five jobs. Cain put out the call and 14 resumes came in. Cain didn't want to turn anyone away, so she found extra funding so everyone who applied could get a job.

North Preston's Future does a variety of work in the community, including picking up garbage. (Submitted by Miranda Cain)

The teens and young adults are working with the Clean Foundation, helping community members with deed issues, working on a community census, spending time with seniors and picking up garbage and recycling.

The experience is proving to be valuable for participants.

"I'm teaching them you work for your money. You learn some trades. You update your resume. You respect others. You learn to speak in public," said Cain.

June Beals, 19, is a second-year political science student at St. Francis Xavier University, and works with North Preston's Future. This is her first community-related job.

'A very close-knit community'

"I don't like to talk — at all — so going into homes and speaking to the elders, and learning their stories, I get to communicate with them and be a journalist in some kind of way, which I'm not used to doing, so it's good," she said.

With files from Information Morning and Phlis McGregor