Peter Dalglish empowers NJC students

Peter Dalglish empowers NJC students

On Tuesday, October 19, Neuchatel Junior College enjoyed an inspiring talk from Peter Dalglish. Not just any humanitarian aid worker, Mr. Dalglish is the leading authority on working, street and war-affected children in developing nations across the world. He is an alumnus of Upper Canada College, Standford and Dalhousie Law, and is known primarily for founding Street Kids International, a global leader in organizing self-help projects for impoverished urban children.

Junior Chamber International called him one of the ten outstanding young people in the world. Pierre Trudeau appointed him as the first director of Youth Services Canada. He is the Chief Technological advisor for the UN child labour program in Nepal and the executive director of South Asia Children’s Fund. For all his work in the field, he is the recipient of three honorary doctorate degrees as well as the fellowship of man award and the Dalhousie Law School award for public service. He has published a book called The Courage of Children, developed a film about HIV prevention, and next year will be working with the UN in Afghanistan to take care of impoverished school-age girls across the whole country.

No one was quite sure what to expect when it was announced that Mr. Dalglish would be speaking about his work—by all the buzz from the teachers, we knew it would be interesting, but the real surprise came in Mr. Dalglish’s emphasis on what we as students can do to help and the number of volunteer opportunities there are for us out there. He highlighted many of the life decisions we will soon be making and described the incredible power vested in us as young, worldly individuals to solve the problems on the Earth today. He described his own lifestyle and the changes he has effected and seen effected in countries around the world. Most importantly, he made this invigorating scenario reachable and realistic for us, by offering us his help in organizing volunteer trips and the opportunity to contact him later through email.

As a speaker, Mr. Dalglish was funny, candid, engaging and inspiring; he warned us against the toil of office jobs, described his experience working in the field of Law as well as humanitarian aid and encouraged students to give a hearty thanks to their parents for the opportunity to be here at NJC and experience a greater part of the world through travel. I think we all walked away struck with the potential that we have to help others, and the duty we have to give back to society by effecting positive change through service trips like the Nepal trek or the Me to We trips affiliated with the school. We are incredibly lucky to be here, and we owe Mr. Dalglish thanks for taking the time to speak to us about what we can do with that luck to make the world we live in a better place.

- Trish
February 12th, 2012