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Teens in Regina lead revitalization efforts in North Central with city’s support

Teens in Regina, Saskatchewan are leading revitalization efforts with the city’s support.

“It’s really about testing an idea with them or testing some feedback with them or just overall neighbourhood urban design with them and they think about it in a way that we don’t,” said Regina Mayor Sandra Masters.

Under the name of “North Central Strong”, teens Hope Henderson, Jacob Panipekeesick and a few of their friends are taking a stand for a neighbourhood they call home. And with some help from the city, they hope to change the way people see their part of town.

“It’s a rough place to grow up in, which causes a lot of problems, but I graduated and now I’m in university and I want to show other youths in North Central that they can also do this,” said Henderson.

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The teens say they would like to see things such as economic development in North Central like grocery stores and more job opportunities.

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The city reached out to the group through  “Growing Young Movers” a mentorship program at the Mamaweatitian Centre attached to Scott Collegiate High School in the heart of the neighbourhood.

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“All I’m here to do is open doors that I can use my privilege to open and my connections in that sense, and then when they can be on stage, that’s what important to me, is that people start listening to what they have to say,” said Brian Lewis, executive director of the program.

The city’s Parkdale Park will be the first revitalization project, as it served as a common community gathering place for kids of all generations in the neighbourhood.

The teens from North Central Strong say they have plans for a bright and hopeful future. “Not a lot of people have tried to stay and uplift it, I guess if we have the chance to, obviously I’d like to take the chance,” said Panipekeesick.

— With files from Global’s Moosa Imran

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