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Summer time is PSYL time here at Pearson College UWC and that means our campus is full of bright young people eager to make their mark in the world – just like fall, spring and winter, actually!

Every July and August, between 80 and 100 participants – ages 15 to 18 — from all over the world come together on our campus for an immersive mini-Pearson College UWC experience.

This year’s Pearson Seminar on Youth Leadership session saw enthusiastic participants from 18 different countries create new friendships and embark on very significant and deeply-felt journeys while learning about supportive community building, meaningful leadership and growing their appreciation for nature and the environment.

“I learned a lot about myself, my values, why they are important to me and how to communicate them. It is an incredible time here at PSYL, where you form bonds and deep friendships very quickly because of the intense workshops and group activities,” explains Emily from Germany, one of the 16 international PSYL Youth Animators.

Animators are, in a way, the glue between participants and program coordinators. They act as role models and mentors and bring invaluable skills and unique experiences to PSYL, while also integrating a rich international perspective.

Among the many educational adventure highlights were the kayak trip accompanied by seals and jelly fish, the project day in Downtown Victoria where participants either volunteered with a local community garden, a mosque or the Cool Aid Society, a local non-profit that works towards ending homelessness by providing affordable housing and shelters.

“It feels like I have been here for months! I very much enjoy the freedom and the level of trust and equality we participants are given here,” says PSYL participant Jonathan from Ottawa. “This is such a well-built community, where everyone knows everyone.”

President and Head of College Désirée McGraw adds, “On behalf of the College, many, many thanks to the PSYL Coordinators, who created and designed this year’s UWC mini experience, the Youth Animators from around the world for their energy and passion and, last but not least, the program participants for bringing their cultural insights and open minds and hearts.

“And don’t forget that registration for next year’s PSYL experience opens in December!”