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Alouettes make school the right place to be
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 23 février 2012

Courtesy photo

Emry visited the Centennial Academy in week 3 of the program, during “Stand Up, Be a Friend Week

The Centennial Academy in NDG was visited Jan. 16 by Montreal Alouette’s #41, Shea Emry.

The 25-year-old linebacker chatted with high school students for an hour and a half, hoping to inspire and motivate them to stay in school.

“Every year we hold a week where we can promote a positive and respectful environment. So it’s really to educate and make kids aware about the bullying issue, how we can make a difference and how each student can play a role and make the school a safer and better place to be,” said school counsellor Anita Tso.

Shea Emry, who also studied business administration, explained the importance of making the right choice and working hard towards reaching a goal. A Grey Cup champion in 2009 and 2010, he talked about his own experience being bullied and seeing his brother being bullied.

Four days earlier, the Montreal Alouettes and the Canadian National Railway renewed their commitment to the Together at School community outreach program.

Emry is one of the 16 Alouette players involved in the 2012 edition. They have all taken 32 hours of training from specialists in school mentoring and counselling to help them support elementary and high school students. They will be focussing on a wide array of challenges that students face today, ranging from bullying and academic performance to peer pressure and the importance of staying active.

“We have a lot of kids into sports, and we felt that kids look up to the Alouettes and that it would make a difference. If they can see the human side of someone they look up to, and see that they too have experienced bullying, experienced difficulty with other kids, they can relate to that, and the players can maybe motivate them to change.”

The Alouettes will be at the Kells Academy in NDG on Feb. 24 and will also visit École Saint-Luc. In 2012 they will interact with over 60,000 students at 120 schools.

“It was very effective. By having our players physically present in schools and interacting directly with the students, our goal is to inspire them and positively impact their lives,” said Tso.

[ Marie Cicchini ]

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