Respecting Our Roots

IMG_3237_2by David W. Morrison – President
Youth Ambassadors International Inc.

This organization is in many ways the culmination of my entire professional career. For more than 30 years, it was my privilege to have taught at an amazing high school in Barrie,  Ontario – Innisdale Secondary School. For 12 of those years it was also my honour to serve the people of that community as a member of Barrie City Council.

As an elected Alderman I worked with some incredible people as they created a number of twin city partnerships. In 1997, I partnered with the most remarkable person I have ever met – culturally sensitive, compassionate, creative and brilliant – Ms. Sandra Purchase and together we created a youth cultural exchange program called the Youth Ambassadors Program. It is simply a statement of truth that she provided the heart and soul and without whom it would never have happened. This program continues to offer summer cultural exchanges.

As a history and political science teacher at Innisdale, I was intrigued by the possibility of creating a unique approach to education that would combine integration, team-teaching, high-end academics and international experience. Fortunately an incredible group of educators, under the leadership of an excellent Principal, worked with me to make this a reality and so the Global Perspectives Program was born. Global travels internationally twice a year, and the travel experiences are essential to the unique academic nature of the program. Although I retired in June 2013, Global continues to this day under new leadership and with a new but equally dedicated teacher team.

Both programs always included “the best kids not the richest kids” and so establishing community partnerships to ensure that financial reality became essential to their existence.

One of those Global travel opportunities is to a program developed by the University of Matanzas in Cuba. By working with the Cuban Coordinator we re-designed it to meet our specific needs. For two weeks each spring the current Global class and some of its teachers travel to Cuba to participate in this amazing program. If you choose to do so you are welcome to read dozens of testimonials from students, parents, teachers, and chaperons.

Youth Ambassadors International Inc. chose its name to honour its roots with the City of Barrie and is using its experience in Cuba as a model for our initial efforts.

I would like to encourage you to explore this website to discover more details. There are many organizations out there offering student trips. We respect what they have built but we also believe that we offer something entirely unique. We look forward to providing whatever assistance is necessary to customize your experience.