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March 23, 2016

Unbeatable volunteering record set this week

South Tetagouche, NB resident, retired teacher Michael White was honoured, today, for his 100 weeks of volunteerism at Canada’s largest youth forum, Encounters with Canada (EWC). Acadie-Bathurst MP Serge Cormier, Mr. White’s federal representative, was on hand at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre to speak and deliver congratulatory messages from the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau and the Honourable Brian Gallant, Premier of New Brunswick.

Michael White has donated 100 weeks, 10,000 hours – almost two years of his life – to act as a teacher-monitor for the Ottawa-based, fully bilingual, youth citizenship and leadership program, Encounters with Canada (EWC), over a 20-year period. In so doing, he has set an unbeatable benchmark for Encounters’ network of some 1,000 volunteers across Canada that will never be matched!

“I think he is the first and only person in Canada to have accomplished such a feat,” said MP Serge Cormier. “He is a role model for all of us. His commitment to young people across Canada has encouraged them to come and share his enthusiasm, to become involved in Encounters with Canada.” And speaking from the heart to the participants present, Mr. Cormier continued: “And to all the young people out there, follow your dreams. Never forget that if you work hard and believe in yourselves, your dreams can become a reality. And I think Michael White is the perfect example of that, today.”

Said Michael White: “When you follow your heart, and with some luck, you will do what you love. I would not have been able to come here without the support of my wife and my three children. Indeed, one of the highlights for me was in September 2012, when my daughter became a teacher-monitor at Encounters, too. She says she now understands why I continue to return.”

Director General Linda Brunet added her good wishes: “One of the things that struck me, then, and still does to this day, is that the Encounters’ program has been able to attract and keep its volunteers from across Canada for such long periods of time. Michael White represents all that is best about the Encounters with Canada program and its teacher-monitors. He has touched the lives of literally thousands of young Canadians from across our nation. His record of volunteering is second to none. He is the epitome of an educator, youth leader – and caring Canadian.”