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Staying Connected with our Youth Leadership Delegates

Affecting Change in Their Lives and the Lives of Their Peers
March 30,2017

The Werklund School of Education School Forum at the Mac Hall Ballroom at the University of Calgary, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. Photo by Mike Ridewood

After attending the Youth Forum in September, students from 20 Calgary area schools have been hard at work creating change initiatives in their communities. The students have tackled a wide range of issues: their projects include organizing Mental Health weeks, sponsoring youth speakers, making sandwiches and care packages for the homeless, and fostering community and trust within their schools. Students are also improving their schools’ infrastructure by ordering poster display boards and hygiene product dispensers, and creating murals, green walls, and student-friendly counseling rooms.

Youth Leadership Facilitator Michael Holden has been meeting with teachers and students across Calgary to support their work and learn about their successes and challenges. “It’s great to see how the students are making change in their communities,” Michael explains. “Each group has pinpointed issues they care about and want to solve. The students are really leading these projects and showing that they are already agents of change.”

The Youth Forum schools have been invited back to the University of Calgary for a follow-up Forum in April 2017. Students will have the opportunity to share their initiatives and highlight how they’ve affected change in the community. The April event will also be a chance for each group to consider how to sustain their change over time. “Lots of these leaders will be graduating from Grade 9 or Grade 12,” Michael explains. “So a big question for them is: what do you do next? How can you bring that passion for change into a new community?”