A year on with Katimavik!

Montréal, February 18, 2004 ? At 19, Viriya Siharath was a student at Université de Montréal majoring in political science. While he enjoyed being a university student and had a great group of friends in Montréal, he was yearning for new and challenging experiences. “I was tired of learning about the world through books, and I wanted to meet new people”. Viriya decided it was the right time for him to apply to Katimavik, Canada?s leading national youth volunteer-service learning program.

A gap year that pays off

Katimavik is an exciting nine-month educational alternative for Canadian youth between the ages of 17 to 21 who may choose not to attend post secondary school immediately following high school, as well as those who are looking for a gap year experience where they can reflect on their future direction while making a tangible contribution to Canadian society. In addition to working 35 hours a week on community projects, participants benefit from learning components that focus on developing their leadership and official second language skills, adopting a healthy lifestyle, making cultural discoveries and protecting the environment. Participating in the Katimavik program gives youth valuable hands-on experience that can be applied to future career or educational choices and an increased level of self-confidence from trying out different work placements and activities.

Sandra Topelko, a past participant from Victoria, BC, can proudly attest to the positive opportunities that Katimavik has brought her. ?Before Katimavik I was working full time in a dead-end job. Now I am halfway through my university degree. Katimavik opened my eyes to my full potential and allowed me to see what my interests are. The realization of how much I loved learning French convinced me to pursue language studies as my career!?

A recent survey found that the total economic impact of 726 Katimavik participants over a period of seven months is valued at $17,262,000, on the basis of the value of participants making the right career choice, their increased employability and their global impact on the Canadian economy.

It?s time to apply!

Applications for the 2004-2005 Katimavik program year are now being accepted on-line at www.katimavik.org. For the September 1 and 8, 2004, program the deadline for applications is April 2. For the January 26 and February 2, 2005 program start dates the application deadline is this June 25.

Katimavik Alumni Association

Former Katimavik participants that would like to know more about the Katimavik Alumni Association are invited to visit the web site at www.katimavik.org or call toll-free at 1 888 525-1503.

The Government of Canada, through Exchanges Canada, a part of the Department of Canadian Heritage,

is proud to provide financial assistance to Katimavik.

1 Étude Économique Conseil (EEC) 2002. Dollar amount based on a series of calculations, including Canada’s average wage in the volunteer sector in 2002. The length of the 2001-2002 Katimavik program was seven months.

For more information:

Katimavik Head Office

Christine Rocheleau, Communications Advisor

Tel: 1 888 525-1503 ext. 241

Email: crocheleau@katimavik.org

Web site: www. katimavik.org