Patrick Watson is headed into international waters next week. As Canada’s only delegate to an international youth conference in the Czech Republic, Patrick hopes to bring home world experience.

And it won’t end with him, as this history and political science major plans a career in the classroom, teaching international issues along with the impacts of history on our world.

It’s a combination guaranteed to open minds, enhance learning and hopefully have a positive impact on the next generation.

That’s why I think Patrick deserves some support as he heads overseas for a week beginning July 21.

With an incredible background in community work, school leadership, and academic awards, Patrick’s interest in international issues can have a meaningful impact down the road. To attend the conference he’s taking a one-week break from his summer job in a group home for Barrie and District Association for People With Special Needs. A long time volunteer with special needs people, Patrick now is saving for year two university tuition with his work this summer.

When I read about his conference and his attempts to raise $2000 towards the event a month ago, I wondered how the fundraising had gone.

So far, so good. He’s received two donations from ordinary citizens, and one from the Barrie Rotary Club towards air fare. He’s also received help from John Laking Jr. whose travel agency is helping with visa, travel arrangements, and a well-priced economy flight.

But, still, Patrick is $800 short of his goal.

It’s logical for him to approach service clubs for donations, and he’s made approaches to all of them. But I think it’s equally possible for ordinary people like you and I to write a cheque for an affordable amount (say a week’s worth of drive-through coffees) and put our faith in a young Barrie student who has, and will continue to, put his stamp on the face of our future.

A little bit goes a long way if lots of people participate.

If Patrick’s participation in an international conference, with 60 delegates from 53 countries, appeals to you, why not drop a cheque to him at Patrick Watson, 63 Highcroft Rd, Barrie, ON L4N 2X6. To find out more, you can email Patrick at : mad_hatter_productions@hotmail.com. He’s eager to follow up with all donors, and speak publicly about the conference on his return.

It’ll be wonderful to hear of his experiences and his changing view of the world and his place in it when he returns. What an opportunity!

Go for it, Patrick! And, thanks.

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