Youthlink News

Your Impact on Calgary Will Last

"What I will miss the most is their smiles." Stephen Deng, Calgary Police Auxiliary Cadet.

Today we have tears in our eyes. Many of you know Calgary Police Auxiliary Cadet Stephen Deng. He has left his impression on thousands of Calgary youth. This is the last day Deng’s desk will be piled with “thank you” cards from visiting schools.

Stephen Deng’s ability to connect with children on a daily basis, particularly children who are enduring struggles as new Canadians - has been truly exceptional. During each week of Police School (a five-day program that focuses on building positive relationships between new Canadian immigrants and the Calgary Police) Deng shares his life story.

Deng’s story begins in Sudan, happy with his family. At age 11, along with 20,000 other “Lost Boys”, he is fleeing Civil War. Deng recalls his best and worst moments during his hundreds of kilometers on foot – the heart-ache, loss and decisions that led to his survival. He tells the children that as a refugee, he arrived in Canada with a negative perception of police – many in the room relate. After describing his first and difficult days in a new country, he speaks from his heart about his love for Canada. Laughter erupts across the room at a photo of Deng wearing a Calgary Flames jersey in 40 degree weather while visiting his family back in Sudan. Mouths drop as the remarkably tall Stephen is dwarfed by his family members, including his own mother.

He tells the children that police in Canada are people you can trust. He recounts his positive experiences with the Calgary Police, including his recruitment to join the Calgary Police as an Auxiliary Cadet. The children are listening. These words, coming from Deng, create the change in perspective and build the trust required for a safe city.

While Deng has grown out of the Auxiliary Cadet program, his influence will remain. Deng continues his mission of empowering youth to build safe futures and avoid a life of crime. We know Deng is on an important path and we will follow his new adventures closely.

Please help us give Stephen a big thank you! Thank you for your unforgettable influence on our organization, within The Calgary Police Service and on thousands of Calgary citizens.

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