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Small Town Big Changes

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In this article, I want to introduce a young man named Graham Cromwell.   Graham is in the position of Youth Intern with Turning the Tide.  Along with Morgan Dunn, he is part of the extraordinary work taking place at the Digby & Area Youth Space (D.A.Y.S.), the C.B.Y.F. & Youth Leadership Table, and the Transportation Action Team. I asked Graham for an interview.  He said, “absolutely.”

Here are his account and reflections of his work as a Youth Intern.

Graham, how and when did you become affiliated with Inspiring Communities?

“I became more officially affiliated with I.C. last summer (2020) after I had finished my school term in August, taking the position of Youth Intern from then until December 2020. I received this opportunity by being part of the Leadership Table for Turning the Tide throughout the earlier part of that summer. The work we talked about in the Leadership Table meetings excited me, so I decided to ask Jill to ask if there was an employment opportunity. Fortunately, there was, and now here we are. “

What are your roles with Inspiring Communities as a Youth Intern?  Which role is the most rewarding for you?

“As a Youth Intern, I have a few roles. Bringing my perspective to meetings about various topics or issues to help find solutions is my favourite role. I love creative problem-solving and connecting seemingly different or abstract ideas.”

“Another important role I play is in group meeting facilitation. I’m quite introverted, but facilitating discussions sort of comes to me naturally. I think that’s because of my deep interest in ideas. One skill I have fortified by facilitating meetings is finding common ground between seemingly completely different personal perspectives.”

“This summer, I will also be taking on the task of setting up the framework for our Transportation Action Team and working with others in the area to bring the vision we create within the framework to fruition. I think that being able to take the lead on the Transportation project is the most rewarding to me.”

Graham’s nature is to help others be the best they can be, and the Transportation Project allows him to do just that on a small and a big scale: on a small scale, bring Youth and Community members together. On a bigger scale, give a community momentum.

Are you attending university?  Which university and what area of study?   Also, what made you choose this field?

“I am attending university. I go to the University of Waterloo. I am an Honours Kinesiology student minoring in Ergonomics & Injury Prevention and Entrepreneurship.  I had chosen to take kinesiology because of my heavy participation in sports throughout my school years (there isn’t much else to do in rural Nova Scotia). The human body is quite fascinating, so it’s fun to learn about, and the things I learn allow me to help myself and others with their physical well-being.”

Once Graham got to university, he realized he had a passion for entrepreneurship and started learning a lot about it.   He decided to include it in his formal education, adding a minor in entrepreneurship.  

How long is your internship with Inspiring Communities – Turning the Tide? Also, when you finish with your studies, what direction do you plan on going?

“My internship will be about four months going until September 2021.  When I finish my studies, I plan to continue my education or pursue opportunities within the entrepreneurial sphere. Throughout my undergraduate career, I have taken opportunities to become well connected within the startup community in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, as well as in the non-profit sector back here in my home province of N.S. with Inspiring Communities.”

 “I would like to continue to develop my skills and use them wherever I see an opportunity to make a difference, whether that be in the non-profit sector or the private sector.  I could also see myself working as a teacher or somewhere within the education sector, which would require me to continue my education.”

“I certainly don’t have everything figured out yet, but I see plenty of opportunities ahead that would allow me to help make the world a little better, so I will just keep working hard and see where I end up.”

There you have it, a young man forging ahead in this world as a changemaker.  It was an absolute pleasure to interview Graham and get a snapshot of his time here at Turning the Tide.  I look forward to seeing what changes he will make in this world – we certainly need positive change now.


Shawnalynn Cromwell is a community ambassador with Inspiring Communities’ nested initiative Turning the Tide in Digby. Shawnalynn is a writer, changemaker and active community member in Weymouth Falls.