Catapult Leadership Society (Fall River, NS)


  • Name:Lori Barker
  • Title:Executive Director

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Catapult Leadership Society
  • Address:201 Philip Drive
    Fall River, NS B2T 1H7

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:902-830-5704
  • Main fax:902-576-3270

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • Catapult's mission is to cultivate new leaders who will make a positive difference in communities across Nova Scotia. We focus on students with natural leadership qualities but limited opportunities.

  • Overview:
  • Catapult is a world-class initiative designed to give teenagers a life-changing opportunity to discover their potential, take charge of their lives and become empowered to make a difference. Students learn problem solving techniques, decision-making skills and the benefits of effective teamwork. The program is a combination of a camp experience that includes inspiring presentations and exciting adventure activities set in an atmosphere of fun and friendship followed by a Catapult Plus mentorship program where students can continue to build on their leadership talents throughout high school.

    The expectation is that Catapult will serve as a basis for these young citizens to become more active participants in their schools and eventually, future leaders for Nova Scotia.

    Catapult’s focus is on teens who would not otherwise have the opportunity to take part in this type of experiential learning. Nominated by their Teachers, Catapult campers are the students who have demonstrated natural leadership abilities but who lack the opportunities, the role models and/or the guidance to reach their full potential.

    Catapult is a non-profit camp fully funded by corporate sponsorships. Tuition, accommodation, meals and transportation is provided at no cost to the student.

    Catapult Camp takes place each year in August at Acadia University in Wolfville, NS. Nova Scotia teachers will once again nominate eligible students (entering grade 10) and we will select 50. At the end of this camp, each student will then have the option to commit to our in-depth program, Catapult Plus which includes:
    • a joint summer conference for grade 10 and 11 students with the focus on tools to boost high school success (eg. public speaking, leading meetings, conflict resolution, etc.)
    • a community partner network for mentoring and part time job opportunities
    • a career coaching program to provide guidance with post secondary choices
    • an interactive website to facilitate mentoring and social networking
    • a ‘Leadership Fund’ to provide financial assistance for Catapulters wishing to participate in other leadership conferences, etc.

    In exchange, all participants will be required to demonstrate leadership initiatives by:
    • leading a community project during the school year (and reporting thereon to their peers at the summer conference),
    • becoming involved in some form of extra curricular activity of their choosing (student government, clubs, teams, or other community groups), and
    • setting personal goals each year.

    In September 2015, students enrolled in the Catapult Plus program will be eligible for the Personal Development Credit receiving a .5 grade 10 credit on their high school transcripts for their completion of the program.

    Through our programs, our students have discovered their potential and developed greater confidence, and we consistently hear that Catapult has been a life-changing experience. Our quarterly newsletter provides guidance on teen-relevant topics and inspires the students with success stories from fellow alumni, and our private Facebook group provides an easy means for this strong peer network to stay connected and share ideas.

    Catapult is a success story. During the past 6 summers, we have hosted over 300 talented and promising youth from 147 towns. They tell us that Catapult has been the best thing to have happened to them. We’re excited to see that many are already giving back to their communities. It’s equally wonderful to see others focusing on their self-leadership as they use their new confidence to set higher goals and reach beyond what they once thought possible.

  • History:
  • Catapult began in 2009 with the launch of our 7-day leadership camp program. The program was offered to 50 Nova Scotia students entering Grade 10 the following September. Students are nominated by educators who believe they have natural leadership qualities and the potential to become future leaders of our communities … but who would not normally have access to this type of opportunity due to circumstance such as economics, loss of family, geographic isolation, racial barriers, etc.

    In our first year alone, we received 180 nominations from 80 of Nova Scotia’s 127 middle schools. Since then, we’ve hosted students from most middle schools bringing our participation rate to 89%.

    The selection process is a difficult one in which we consider multiple factors including the student’s community involvement, his/her potential to inspire the other students, the need for Catapult (or will the student likely succeed anyway) and prior year selections in order to reach as many schools and communities as possible.

    Their stories are inspiring. Many live with poverty, have lost parents to death and divorce, several take on the role as caregiver to younger or disabled siblings or guardians, some are in foster care moving from house to house. Many live in rural or remote locations which do not provide opportunities to interact with people from other cultures and backgrounds. Some have insecurities tied to their circumstance that cause them to stand aside rather than be the leader they are capable of being. Our Catapulters come from every part of the province from Glace Bay to Clark's Harbour and they represent the full diversity of our provincial heritage including First Nation students, African Canadians and Acadians.

    Our students may share a lack of opportunities. But they also share the common bond of natural leadership abilities, emotional strength ... and the desire to make their dreams come true.

    After a highly successful inaugural camp program, we quickly realized that we needed to do more to ensure the long-term success of these amazing kids. Though our week had catapulted them to a new level of confidence, they were returning home to the same limiting and challenging circumstances and without additional support there was a real risk that they could lose their direction. In response, we held a reunion weekend to re-energize, reinforce and reconnect. We also introduced a quarterly newsletter to provide guidance on teen-relevant topics and to inspire the students with success stories from their fellow alumni. Our private Facebook group provides an easy means for the students to stay connected with their strong peer network and share ideas. In 2013, we introduced ‘Catapult PLUS’ – our optional program for Catapult alumni who are in high school and wish to continue their leadership development. In 2014, we introduced "Catapult Career Coaching" - a program where the student is matched to a coach who will work through our handbook of activities and helpful resources throughout the year. The coach strives to assist the student in navigating a variety of research avenues in order to help them make good, well-informed decisions for themselves regarding their post-secondary plans.

    Our students consistently tell us that Catapult made a significant impact on their high school experience by reducing anxiety about starting high school and by boosting self-confidence to join extra-curricular activities and get involved. Through Catapult Plus our students feel more prepared than ever to take on the challenges of post-secondary plans and become the leaders they were born to be.

  • Year established:2009
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:Canada
  • CRA type:Charitable
  • Canada Business or Reg #:813857893RR0001