Gateway Gazette

Partnership Success in the Community: Truck Donation to Wilderness Youth Program for High Risk Youth Makes Big Impact

Thanks to the generosity of Quinn Leder, Production Manager at Supreme Steel LP (part of the Steel Group of Companies), Supreme Steel employees, and the Leder Charitable Foundation of Edmonton, a program for high-risk youth has been given new wheels to continue operation.

Thanks to the generosity of Quinn Leder (right) and Supreme Steel, the Wilderness Youth Challenge Program, headed by Lee Eskdale (left), has a new truck to continue operations.
 Quinn Leder (right) of Supreme Steel, presents a new truck to the Wilderness Youth Challenge Program, headed by Lee Eskdale (left)

Lee Eskdale has been running the Wilderness Youth Challenge Program (WYCP) since 2006, providing relapse prevention programs for high risk youth in the Edmonton region. The Leder Charitable Foundation has been a committed partner from the very beginning, funding the program’s initial gear requirements and its first wilderness challenge camp for six young people in the Big Horn back country.

“On that challenge,” says Lee, “we had one graduate who actually turned 13, while on his solo camp, high up on the side of a mountain bordering the Alberta-B.C. border. This young lad had already missed two years of regular school due to high risk activity driven by a drug addiction. On his second day alone, he built a ‘fence’ of deadwood around his tent site and prepared a birthday celebration for himself that even included a cake…..of sorts, and he made himself a birthday present, a walking staff he proudly took home at the end of the challenge! Today I am pleased to report that Darien, 21, is enjoying a healthy lifestyle and, with his family, remains an active volunteer advocate for WYCP.” This is the real world impact of WYCP, and it would not be possible without the support of committed partners like Quinn and the Leder Charitable Foundation.

The Leder Foundation has faithfully invested in WYCP each year and is largely to thank for the more than 30 youth graduates who have not relapsed back into high risk activities. Through this partnership, youth have had the opportunity to prepare a positive life plan, learn new skills, and dig deep within themselves to find the confidence and self-esteem needed to succeed.

“All too often,” says Lee, “front line youth workers find themselves ‘servicing’ at risk youth who have already borne the consequences of bad behaviours and lifestyles. By funding our program, the Leder Foundation has given WYCP the opportunity to invest in youth in a proactive manner, better equipping them to believe in their own future and go on to make wiser life choices.”

As for the truck donation, here’s what Lee has to say: “Quinn Leder has once again championed our cause, this time to the employees and management at the Supreme Steel Acheson fabrication plant in Edmonton. The wilderness program needed a new vehicle capable of hauling kids and equipment into rugged terrain, and the donated truck is perfect! It is a 2004 GMC 2500 4×4 in excellent shape, capable of pulling our 21′ Triton flat deck with quads/quad trailers and gear while tagging a boat trailer loaded with two Zodiacs and maybe even three or four youth as well. The truck will also be outfitted to double as our emergency aid unit so that we keep our campers safe. This donation will have a major impact on our program and we thank Quinn, the Supreme Steel Group of Companies, and the Foundation for their commitment to our youth!”

On behalf of all of us at Alberta’s Promise, we would like to recognize possibility makers like Quinn Leder, the employees and management at the Supreme Steel Acheson fabrication plant, and the Leder Charitable Foundation for giving youth the opportunities to choose positive lifestyles and achieve their potential. Thank you!

(Source: Alberta’s Promise)

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