Southwest Arm Academy student headed to Ottawa

Reprinted from The Packet, September 16, 2015

As students head back to school this week, 11-year-old Long Beach student Katie Kelly will be getting ready to head to Ottawa after being selected to attend the Canada’s History Youth Forum.

Katie Kelly’s video won her a trip to Ottawa through Canada History’s Young Citizens award. (Photo via

In a press release issued last week, it was announced the student from Southwest Arm Academy has been singled out for her heritage fair project called “The resilient Newfoundlander and Labradorian.” She will be joined on the Oct. 15-18 trip by 25 other young Canadians who were selected by the Young Citizens program.

Young Citizens is a program of Canada’s History Society. It focuses on citizenship and is a complementary component to heritage fairs, an annual event where students across the country present the results of their research on Canadian heroes, legends and key events in Canadian history.

Participants in the Young Citizens program, aged 10 to 16, make a short video about their heritage fair topic, much like an evening news report or short documentary.

Some 150 student videos created during the 2014-15 school year were posted online and reviewed by a panel of judges for a chance to win the Ottawa trip.

The judges decided half of the students’ scores, while online voting made up the other half.

In Kelly’s project video, she tells about the well-known reputation that Newfoundland and Labrador has of being a place with strong and resilient people.

“My project looks at the story of my great grandfather Wilson Vey who, along with his crew and passengers, survived being lost at sea in the stormy Atlantic Ocean for nine days and nights in 1933 in a small fishing schooner. I was so surprised at how strong these men were, and how they refused to give up, even with little hope of rescue. They were so resourceful, in how they kept alive and afloat in the raging Atlantic Ocean,” said Kelly.

“The story has taught me to be strong, to work hard, to try my best and to never give up even when things don’t go the way I plan. It has been a very inspiring lesson for me,” she added.

“The Young Citizens program helps inspire Canadian youth about Canadian history, while encouraging them to explore the stories of their own home town, province and country,” says Janet Walker, Canada’s History President and CEO.

“The 26 student winners exemplify the passion of Canada’s young people for discovering their past and its significance to their lives today.”

To watch Kelly’s video go to: