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Peace Wapiti Public School Division
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Peace Wapiti Public School Division No. 76
News Item

PWSD schools welcome Grey Cup champion JR LaRose during FNMI school tour

May 18, 2018

Grande Prairie, AB – Students and staff at eight schools within Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD) will welcome JR LaRose during the First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Guest Speaker Series on May 22-24, 2018.

A 2011 Grey Cup champion, JR LaRose is a proud member of One Arrow First Nation and an ambassador for Aboriginal peoples. His pathway to success has been a long and hard fought journey that includes a start in low-income housing in Edmonton's inner city, a father of Nigerian heritage who was deported back to his native country before his birth and a family who struggled with drug addiction and the lingering effects of the residential school system. The combined power of sport and the support of a local family led him to a new life that now includes nine seasons with the Canadian Football League (CFL) and more than 400 public speaking engagements throughout North America. He is a gifted speaker whose story of redemption is universal, breaking down racial and generational walls to bring forth a sense of hope and humanity.

Mr. LaRose says he is looking forward to speaking with students and offering words of encouragement.

"I'm excited to share my story as I feel it is relatable to what youth are being faced with on a daily basis," he adds.

"The goal of the FNMI Guest Speaker Series is twofold," says Darrell Willier, FNMI Education Coordinator at PWSD, who also plans the highly anticipated school tours.

"First, it provides our FNMI students with positive role models that they can identify with from a cultural perspective. Secondly, the guest speakers help to break down negative stereotypes that may still exist regarding FNMI people. We have been fortunate in the past to secure high-calibre guests, including Mr. LaRose, whose achievements have served as an inspiration to everyone. We are pleased to welcome him back to tour additional schools in our district." adds Mr. Willier.

The tour will include the following schools:

Tuesday, May 22, 2018:
9:30 a.m. presentation at Helen E. Taylor School, Wembley
1:00 p.m. presentation at Penson School, Grovedale

Wednesday, May 23, 2018:
9:30 a.m. presentation at Eaglesham School
1:30 p.m. presentation at Woking School, with visiting students and staff from Rycroft School

Thursday, May 24, 2018:
8:45 a.m. presentation at R.W. Zahara Public School
10:00 a.m. presentation at Sexsmith Secondary School
2:00 p.m. presentation at Peace Wapiti Academy

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Photo Caption:
Students and staff at eight PWSD schools will welcome Grey Cup champion JR LaRose during the FNMI Guest Speaker Series on May 22-24, 2018.

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