The Alberta government has kicked in an additional $150,000 for the John Ware Youth Empowerment Program.
The program started as a pilot project in 2021 to honour the legacy of John Ware by assisting with developing life and career skills for rural youth.
While many people living in the Foothills are aware of John Ware's legacy many did not know that he eventually settled in the Brooks area of southern Alberta.
The program is based in Brooks with Global Village Centre and with the additional funding the program looks to expand across other rural communities.
Alberta Minister of Culture, Jason Luan in a news release was very happy with the announcement.
“The opportunities available to you, your ability to achieve your goals and engage in your community – these should never be limited by where you come from or what you look like. Alberta’s government is proud to support the John Ware Youth Empowerment Program and to help visible minority and newcomer youth reach their full potential.”
The pilot program covered a 10-week program, developed a scholarship for participants, created a train-the-trainer tool kit to expand the program to other rural communities across the province.
Ware is renowned as a legendary Black cowboy who made his way into Alberta from the U.S. in 1882 and was noted for his excellent horsemanship.
The original pilot program was funded with $144,600 and got underway in February of 2022 and to date have enrolled 80 mentees who were part of a 10-week program for youth between 19 to 26 years-of-age.