by Brian Lazzuri,

Kathleen Denny. Antigonish Casket photos by Rachel Psutka

Kathleen Denny. Antigonish Casket photos by Rachel Psutka

With permission from The Casket, MMNN is reprinting part of a special section. Featured in the April 24 eddition of The Casket, where they highlighted exceptional youth. Two of the youth featured are Mi’kmaq, and we will only be covering their profiles.

Years ago, I spent some time teaching Grade 7 and 8. Fresh out of university the experience was one of the most difficult and enjoyable times of my life. While some days were tougher than others, there were many times when I thought the world has a great future due to the students I was working with.

Now, years later, I see the same thing on a weekly basis in the stories the Casket carries on its pages. There are so many talented people in our community and we have only shared a fraction of the stories that exist.

This Faces of the Future special section allows us to share more of those stories in a unique way. We asked local schools, organizations and our readers to nominate youth from Grade 5 to the age 25 who are making a positive impact to their peers and those around them. Photographer Rachel Psutka has captured these faces on camera so that we all can see some of those who are leaders today and of the future.

We sought youth in various categories including: academics, arts (visual/theatrical/poetry/music), athletics, leadership, technology education and volunteerism. In return, we learned these Faces of the Future often transcend more than one category.

In this section you will see athletes who are also academically inclined and leaders in their schools. You will see young adults who have a passion for human rights and are leading the way to stem the tide of violence amongst youth. There are also artists, singers and actors who will continue to make Antigonish such a strong cultural centre.

We are excited to share these profiles with you and will further recognize these Faces of the Future at a special event May 15. That evening the Casket will host Join the Discussion at the Schwartz Auditorium at 7 p.m. A part of Newspaper’s Atlantic’s Georgetown Conference Rural Redefined, Join the Discussion is an economic forum focusing on our community’s future and will feature keynote speakers who are making a difference in rural Nova Scotia. These and other Faces of the Future will one day make similar impacts.

I hope you will continue to assist us in creating a diverse group of youth who will inspire the Antigonish community. There are more Faces of the Future out there and, while it is hard to single one particular individual out, we will continue to accept additional nominations and share them with Casket readers on a regular basis.
Should you have any questions, or would like a nomination form, contact me at or 863-4370.

Face of the Future: Kathleen Denny
Age: 20
Grade: StFX student
Category: Community service/leadership
Achievements: Resisting Violence Youth Leader
Nominator: Caroline MacRae

Quote: “Kathleen juggles home, school, work and community service activities expertly. She graduated from East Antigonish Academy in 2012 with the highest graduating average. Since then she has completed her first year at StFX while working late nights, raising her son and taking on the role of Youth Leader with the Resisting Violence Project. Throughout this project, she has been working in her community of Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation to create an action plan for preventing and reducing family violence in addition to working with community members to create a documentary showcasing the strength of women in Paqtnkek. She also has facilitation training and often works with youth to build health relationship skills. Kathleen is dedicated, talented and hard-working.”

Face of the Future: Raheem Johnson
Age: 16
Grade: Grade 10 Student at East Antigonish Academy
Category: Athletics/leadership
Achievements: Nova Scotia provincial basketball team
Nominator: Jeanine Gunn

Quote: “Raheem is a First-Nations/African-Canadian young man who is going places. He excels at sports and does well at school. Raheem puts great effort into all aspects of his work and takes great pride in much of what he does. Raheem is a true gentleman in how he deals will people, always friendly and outgoing. He has strong leadership skills clearly demonstrated in his team sports as well as in the cooperative group here at school. His overall time management is to be commended given the fact that he misses school due to provincial team engagements. He works hard to catch up and abreast of academic work missed.”

Reprinted with permission from the Antigonish Casket

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,