That is the message that inspires the Atlantic Council for International Co-operation’s (ACCIC) ACTIVE-8! Campaign, which Noah Richardson is now a part of.
The Summerside teen was selected to be one of two Island members of the ACCIC’s ACTIVE-8! team, which promotes actions for positive change for the world.
He was nominated for the position by the City of Summerside in recognition of his wide-ranging community involvement and willingness to promote his ideals.
“He is, at just 16, a statesman with a passion for excellence, justice, safe communities, leadership and youth action,” states the nomination from Mayor Basil Stewart.
The nomination papers detail the extent of Richardson’s involvement, from school–based participation and contributions to community committees to public comment on varying issues.
The variety of his action was one factor cited in favour of his selection.
“He is a role model who walks his talk,” the nomination advised.
Richardson began demonstrating his personality of involvement when he was a toddler, helping his father Rev. Andrew Richardson fill food baskets.
While never feeling he was directly steered towards community action, his role models and nature as a “people person” combined prompted him to get involved in his community.
Reviewing the list of his past efforts that was put together by the city for the nomination, Richardson feels he is a worthy representative for the ACTIVE-8! project and intends to make the most of the experience.
He knows he is a leader, always encouraging others, but recognizes that leadership and teamwork are interdependent.
Richardson says his greatest satisfactions come from working with others to achieve a common goal.
“In my everyday life I apply what the mandate is asking because I encourage people I know to live safe, active and healthy lifestyles that lead to more sustainable, safe and just communities.”
He won’t know the full extent of project demands before attending a training day in Halifax next weekend, a session that will help focus community and media outreach skills. Members will then use that training to encourage others in their communities to make commitments to global change during International Development Week, which takes place Feb. 3 to 9.
Richardson and the other P.E.I. representative, Bobby Thomas Cameron of Charlottetown, will be involved in an event with provincial lead, the International Relations Office at UPEI, and host two International Development Week events in Summerside.
“The opportunity to share in the ACTIVE-8! experience with others who share my passion for positive growth and change is one I know will inspire me to do more for my community, my country and the world,” says Richardson.
With interests in journalism as a career, the teen imagines his personal goals blending with his career.
“As I continue to travel the country and the world, my one wish is to keep the conversations going, encourage positive action and to pass to others the torch of peace.”
The commitment and efforts of ACTIVE-8! members will be presented through multi-media, online profiles, participation in International Development Week events and media interviews.
ACIC expects members to inspire the commitment of peers, and others, to take action, much as 24 previous ACTIVE-8! participants have inspired more than 11,000 pledges of action during the three years the project has operated.