My name is Oweme. I am a part of the MLSE LaunchPad family, and I wrote this to tell you what MLSE LaunchPad means to me.
It was my first two weeks in Canada. I rode on the bus to locate MLSE LaunchPad. After walking around the area, I finally saw the logo from the flyer, went in and introduced myself. The staff at the reception welcomed me, and not long after, had me volunteering at MLSE Launchpad in their Boys Leadership Camp. Since I felt so welcomed, I decided to stay involved in other capacities I could function in the space.
I love sports. I loved what MLSE LaunchPad was doing with sports. One of my duties includes assisting in teaching kids life skills through sports. This was important to me because now I felt like I was as well contributing to my community and society. Although I was volunteering, I was building the right connections in a supportive environment. Then I found out about how MLSE LaunchPad offers a 2-month paid program over the summer for youth who aspire to be leaders. The program is called Leaders-In-Training. The program's objective is to train young people and expose them to different opportunities.
I remember the day of my interview at MLSE LaunchPad, my heart was racing, and I was nervous while waiting at the lobby to be called before the board conducting the interview. All the confidence I had built the previous day melted when I stood facing the panel. I wanted this job and would give it my best I assured myself, and really, I got the job! I was so grateful.
But at the core, I was spending most of my time coaching young children. I helped organize and facilitate sports programs for thousands of summer campers that came to MLSE Launchpad. It was special to me because I helped young kids innovate new ideas, learn from me, and at the end of the day, I could see them improve. I was given a chance to be a role model and positively inspire the young people that I coach.
Reflecting from my first day at MLSE LaunchPad to date, from volunteering to playing in the leagues to being a summer employee, to working as a coach, to be a part of the Youth Advisory Council, I have grown so much. I have learned some valuable lessons and skills that have changed my life trajectory. I have picked up managerial skills, which include leading people, the art of communicating, and project management.