Ryan Cooney, executive director of the Canadian Youth Golf Alliance, invited the group of students to learn about the organization he founded just over a year ago — the Canadian Youth Golf Alliance. The mission of the Canadian Youth Golf Alliance is "to lessen the risk factors for Canada's 'At-Risk Youth' communities by facilitating efficient and effective programs in the areas of golf participation, youth employment and education. Through these programs, the youth of the Canadian Youth Golf Alliance learn character building principles such as integrity, responsibility, dignity, honesty, gratitude and leadership."
Cooney, who attended St. Charles briefly and Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School for the majority of high school, is a graduate of St. Albert's Adult Education School. Being a former at-risk student himself, he now works towards helping those who are in a similar position he once was. The former golf pro at Lively Golf and Country Club and the Timberwolf Golf Club, (who now holds a master's degree in Humanities), works with different community partners and various organizations to give students
opportunities to better themselves through sport, business, and education.
On days like the one organized at the Idylwylde Golf and Country Club, Cooney works closely with Brandon Beeson, the Northern Ontario regional director, and the Greater Sudbury Police Service to provide learning seminars, mentorship programs and employability training for the students selected to be a part of the day event. The educational courses delivered by the CYGA and taught by Cooney are designed to allow the students to learn about themselves, others, their community, the larger community, and humanity as a whole.
In addition to the programs, post-secondary scholarships and bursaries will be available to deserving members of the CYGA. In order to ensure all the programs and initiatives can be delivered, there is a dedicated fundraising team that believes in the CYGA's vision and mission to support youth.
Dan Bartolucci, a teacher at Marymount Academy and the newly appointed education director for the CYGA said he feels it is "a dynamic and very meaningful program."
"I am inspired by how Ryan has turned his own life around and has committed to
educating and assisting 'at-risk' youth," Bartolucci said. "I truly believe that the CYGA is going to be around for a long time to come and it is very exciting to be a small part of it, helping out the youth in our own community."
For more information about the Canadian Youth Golf Alliance, visit www.canadianyouthgolfalliance.com.