The 15 members of the Youth Services Coop
This summer marks the 20th season for the Youth Services Cooperative in the Haut-Saint-Laurent. As in years past, the entirely youth-run coop, which introduces young people between the ages of 12-17 to their first summer job experience, will be available for hire by individuals or organisations looking for help.
This year’s team includes 15 members ranging in age from 12 to 16-years-old, from Huntingdon, Ormstown, Godmanchester, Valleyfield, Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague, Saint-Anicet, Hinchinbrooke and Rockburn. The members will be guided by two animators, Alicia Demers and Daphné Latreille, who will support the group of junior entrepreneurs in managing their contracts and small business.
Members of the fully bilingual Coop were recruited at both Chateauguay Valley Regional High School and Arthur Pigeon High School, while some joined by word-of-mouth and after seeing posters up throughout the Valley. "They are a very dynamic group of hard workers who bring great ideas to work," said Alicia Demers, who is studying in Education at Bishop’s University. "They are ready to work and are very responsible and really implicated," added Daphné Latreille, who will be starting at McGill this fall.
For the majority of the members their time with the Coop this summer represents an opportunity to earn some money while gaining important work experience. The Coop also represents a way to create links with the community while allowing the members to feel proactive in finding their own work. The services offered by the Coop include: painting, gardening, large clean-ups, babysitting, farm work, cleaning cars, and much more.
Last year, the Coop made $3,530 in revenue from contracts, and raised a further $550 through fundraising. For this season, the members are confident they will be able to match or even better these results. Already over a dozen contracts have been booked, including several larger opportunities with the upcoming Demolition Derby in Saint-Chrysostome and the Corn Festival in Saint-Anicet.
Huntingdon MNA Stéphane Billette, who has never missed the launch of a season, saluted the Huntingdon Carrefour-Jeunesse-Emploi for its implication over two decades in coordinating this initiative for the region’s youth. He then congratulated the members of the Coop, suggesting their summer would represent an important opportunity to learn. "It’s added value to have on your c.v.," he noted, suggesting they would not only gain useful experience in the workforce but also learn how to manage a business as an entrepreneur.
The Coop will run throughout the summer until August 11. For more information, or to contact the Coop for a contract, please call 450-264-5858, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.