Jayda Noyes, Daily Herald
‘How can we get young people to call Prince Albert home instead of just a little stop on the map?’
CBC named Christina Lorentz a winner of Saskatchewan Future 40 for her youth empowerment.
The campaign celebrates 40 people under 40-years-old doing significant work.
CBC announced the 27-year-old as a winner on Tuesday, with 10 being named each day from Monday to Thursday.
She’s taught at First Nations schools in Hall Lake, Montreal Lake, Fond du Lac and is currently a literacy consultant at James Smith’s Bernard Constant Community School.
She also taught in China for six months after completing her master’s degree in education.
“My personality is a bit of a go-getter. I mean, you can kind of see that from all the crazy different things I’ve done recently,” she said.
One of her focal points is addressing alarming school dropout rates.
“I think one of the main causes is we’re forcing (students) to sit in desks and learn and that’s not how they need to learn,” said Lorentz. “So I thought ‘Well, let’s give them what they want,’ and they wanted hands-on experiences.”
It was this theory that inspired her to kickstart a project in Montreal Lake where eight students built a community greenhouse for school credits. It was in partnership with Focus Forward for Indigenous Youth and Your Choice Homes (YCHomes Inc.).
“I’m really extroverted and so I’m always trying to get people together and just kind of work for some sort of good cause,” she said.
Lorentz emphasized her teaching journey is also one of learning–she’s learnt how to make moccasins and mukluks while educating and empowering.
In addition to teaching, Lorentz is also the president of the Prince Albert Young Professionals Group to encourage networking.
“How can we get young people to call Prince Albert home instead of just a little stop on the map?” she asked. “I think so many young people come to Prince Albert to work and then they just leave. ‘There’s nothing to do here in P.A.,’ we hear that all the time.”
But she wants to prove that statement wrong.
“We aren’t just a boring little city. We do have lots,” she said.
She used the example of Catherine Blackburn’s New Age Warriors exhibit at the Mann Art Gallery, where Lorentz is also the vice-chair on the board of directors.
She explained how she feels being a winner.
“I was shocked when I got the email, not gonna lie. I had read through all of the people who had been nominated and everyone had such amazing stories,” she said.
“I feel like now I really need to live up to that,” added Lorentz. “It can’t end here. I guess I don’t want to let anyone down. I want to continue the momentum.”