Meet some impressive young Canadians doing big things in small towns
Some of them aren't old enough to vote, but they're old enough to change the world
Jonny Harris' travels have taken him cross-country for Still Standing and his adventures have allowed him to meet some of the most interesting Canadians with incredible stories to tell. And many of them aren't even old enough to vote yet! Here's a look at the young Canadians who are doing big things in small towns.
In his spare time teenager Erik Morrison weaves parachute cord into tiny, handmade survival kits. It started out as a hobby, and he only wove the cord into bracelets, but now he (and his younger sister) weave keychains and kits, too. The strength of the cord can help to build a shelter in a survival situation, and some of his creations can be unravelled to reveal fishing kits inside. His entrepreneurial spirit even landed his products in a local outdoor store. Looks like we might be seeing him on Dragons' Den someday!
He's only 13 years old, but this young entrepreneur from Radisson, Saskatchewan owns and runs his very own museum. Judah started his rock collection "obsession" when he was only 8. He inherited the collection of his mentor, Stewart Sesula, and named the museum after him. The Sesula Mineral and Gem Museum is quite extensive — it has meteors, tons of rocks, and even some cool souvenirs to purchase. Not only does this teenage business owner collect these pieces, he knows his rocks and minerals inside and out. He can tell visitors about each piece, what part of the earth it's from, how it's formed and what makes it so unique. As Jonny says in the clip above, "[Judah]'s like the Doogie Howser [M.D.] of rocks if the 'M' stood for 'mineral.'"
Shane "Wallyman" Wally
Tiny Carcross has broken onto the world stage in an unexpected way: mountain biking. The sport has been a major contributor to tourism in this community. Shane is part of a youth-led trail-building crew that has built over 65 kilometres of trail on Montana Mountain and transformed it into a world-renowned mountain biking destination. He started building trails when he was 16 and now he's a trail crew leader at Single Track to Success. "It's not an easy task, but we love to work hard and we love to have fun on what we work on," says Shane. The International Mountain Biking Association even gave one of the crew's trails a rating of 'epic.' That's no small feat! Now people from all over the world are falling 'head over heels' for the postcard-worthy views on this trail — some figuratively and some literally (we saw that tumble you took, Jonny!)
The Nadleh community youth group dancers
Fraser Lake, B.C.
So you think you can dance? Check out these kids. People from the Nadleh community are famous for their dance performance at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. Jonny visited with Nadleh Whut'en Council Member Tanya Stump and met a youth group of dancers who invited Jonny to perform a bear dance with them.
Gilbert Plains, Man.
"Could it be possible the reason Bryanne is the most community-involved 17-year-old on the planet is because the cell phone reception is so bad here?" Nah, Jonny. Bryanne Bates of Gilbert Plains, Manitoba cares about the fate of the town and is a driving force in her community. She saw that there was no one stepping up to take over important local tasks, so she started volunteering. Even though she's still in high school, she is on the economic development committee, the municipal website committee, the homecoming committee, and she volunteers at the homeless shelter and on a ton of other committees. She's basically a super-volunteer who recognizes the need to work together to keep the community going and keep traditions alive: "When we come together, we see our hard work and effort pays off."
Honourable Mention: Sage and Frieda
These young entrepreneurs offer up story time and a juice box for the bargain price of just 50 cents. And the best part about their Vulcan, Alta., business? They write the stories themselves. Jonny was lucky enough to meet these small business owners, and enjoy one of their original stories and a juice.