Grade 11 student Luca Ramelli from Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School was recently invited to Ottawa where he participated in the National Summit regarding Canada's first Children's Charter.
The charter was launched by Children First Canada for the purpose of building up a better future for Canadian children. While Canada is among the wealthiest countries in the world, the sad reality is that one in five Canadian children still live in poverty.
Over the course of 3 days, youth around the country gathered in Ottawa to discuss a new vision to "help make Canada the best place in the world for kids to grow up."
As one of 30 youth delegates chosen to participate in the summit, Ramelli was nominated by the Blue Jays Care Foundation because of his volunteer work with them and the Hamilton Challenger Baseball Association, said mother Sandra Ramelli.
“I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of children in Canada," he said.
When asked about the issues he brought forward, Ramelli said he focused on child poverty and inclusion for youth with physical and developmental challenges.
“It is important that we create more opportunities for those with physical and developmental challenges to play sports," he said.
"As a volunteer for the Blue Jays Care Foundation and Hamilton Challenger Baseball, I see the positive impact that being part of a sports team has on the challenger athletes. Beyond gaining baseball skills, they build their confidence, learn life skills and build long lasting friendships.”
Ramelli's input in the Children's Charter, along with the other delegates, will be used to shape programs and policies that will benefit children for years to come.
In addition to identifying solutions and providing feedback to challenges children in Canada face, the group also had an opportunity to learn about the history of Indigenous people, visit the Prime Minister’s Office and listen to a keynote address from Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.
"Being a youth delegate at the National Summit and writing the charter was an amazing experience. It was great to collaborate with youth from all across Canada to discuss the various issues facing children and youth today."