On Nov. 6, Benjamin Clarke will be boarding a plane and heading for an experience that will change his life.
The Grade 12 Belmont Secondary student is one of 32 Canadians who have been selected to participate in the RCMP Youth Engagement Week at the training academy in Regina.
“I’m really excited,” Clarke said. “It’s a big step for me.”
As part of the second annual program, Clarke will get the chance to experience the work of an RCMP officer and take part in activities such as drill classes, driver’s training classes, observing at the RCMP firearms range, tours of the depot and the RCMP Heritage Centre, as well as the chance to interact with police officers from various units.
Being in law enforcement has always been a dream for Clarke, whose parents are both in the industry. When he was young he thought the idea of being a police officer was “really cool,” but it’s only within the last seven years that Clarke has thought seriously about becoming a private investigator.
“I just like keeping everyone safe, I feel like it’s a good daily job,” the 17-year-old said.
Clarke found out about the program earlier this month from his mom, Melaina, who encouraged him to apply.
But with close to 200 Grade 11 and 12 students from across the province alone applying, Clarke didn’t think he stood much of a chance. After filling out an application and a phone interview, he got the call that he had been accepted.
While Clarke admits he’s nervous to attend the program, he hopes the experience will help guide his future. “I just want to see what work ethic is necessary to compete with everyone else,” Clarke said. “I’m really blessed to take part in this, it’s really awesome … this will really help me make my decision if I want to go into law enforcement or not.”
The RCMP Youth Engagement Week runs Nov. 6 to 10.