On our first day Me to We, the facilitators of the Youth Summit 2012, were on site to start off a series of events where the youth were able to identify with each other through a series of ice breakers.
On that day, the 25 youth took the first step to becoming Social Innovators in their own communities!
With the help of Me to We, on their second day the youth discovered their leadership styles. They learned the various types of leadership and learned more about the strengths and challenges of their own style. They then were challenged to a hands on, fun and taxing teambuilding activity that touched on the topic of the week, leadership.
Through their learning’s of the first two days, the youth debated issues that they were most passionate about that touched upon poverty, women’s rights, human rights, environmental issues, physical and cyber bullying, homelessness and prostitution. All the 25 youth had valid and insightful points and were all amazed at the differences of opinions that filled the room.
In order to take action, the youth learned to motivate and mobilize others and each other to help through public speaking. Each youth developed their own speech and shared it with the group to gain valuable experience that they can apply in their community.
As the action plan was a big component of the Youth Summit 2012, the youth learned what an action plan was and decided what it is that they would like to do when they go back to their communities as Social Innovators.
Mid-week was the highly anticipated Parliament day! Words could not describe how amazing that day was! The 25 youth had such an incredible day on Parliament Hill and as some would describe “an experience of a lifetime”.
Where to start! The youth had a tour of The Senate to which the speaker of the senate spoke to the youth about the historical background of the room and what it was intended for on Parliament Hill. Up next was the House of Common to which the speaker of the house talked about what his role was and what the focus was for House of Commons. Later in the afternoon was the tour of the hill to which we got yet another tour of Parliament as well as the 25 youth got to meet local MP’s from across the country.
That evening was the reception where MP’s, MP Staff, Senators, sponsors, agency representatives, the 25 youth and staff gathered to hear the stories of some of the youth and what Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada meant to them. It was an incredible experience not only for the youth but for everyone in attendance.
As the last day of the Youth Summit 2012 was upon us, we said goodbye to the 25 youth that spent the week in our nation’s capital. Filled with joy, sadness, appreciation and admiration on this day, the youth reflected on what they enjoyed and valued most about this experience as well as remembering all the great friendships and connections they made.
In the days and weeks to come they will be working on applying their action plans in their own communities and defining themselves as Social Innovators.
A BIG thank you to our sponsors MasterCard, WestJet and Roots Canada for helping us makes this week a memorable one not only for the 25 social innovators that were in attendance at the Youth Summit 2012 but also for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.
A BIG thank you to Me to We for facilitating this incredible week! The workshops and coaching were truly remarkable.
A BIG thank you to the agencies for sending us these amazing Littles, they were truly incredible!