You’ve seen the video now here is the report you’ve been waiting for. A closer look at what we’ve been up too this year and an opportunity for us to share some stories and profiles of the great people in our program.
This summer was amazing and we had a young person who is also a former participant put together this video. Did I mention it was her first time making a video? She is an amazing photographer and did a great job capturing our summer experience in a short video. Look out for our Summer Report coming to a website near you!
This year’s March Break Career Exploration Program focused on the increasingly technological nature of young people’s lives. More and more, growing up today means you are almost born with digital tech and grow up in a social media world. Hence, we wanted to focus on not only post-secondary trajectories, career exploration – as we do every year – but we also wanted to focus on young people, social media and digital technology. In doing that, we were able to really tap into the zeitgeist of the moment as it relates to young people who are, in so many ways, growing up in a whole new digitally interconnected world. The week focused on this new reality and made sure we instilled fun, education, technology and Hip Hop!
The Toronto Maple Leafs are celebrating 100 years and have invited youth from across the city to join them in this celebration. Thanks to Kids Up Front, an organization that is dedicated in getting kids in seats for any sporting game happening in the city, we had the pleasure of being invited. 15 of us listened in on some of the notable comments made about the 100 years; we ate a spectacular meal and of course got to watch a mid day game at the Air Canada Centre. We are excited to always partner with Kids Up Front and look forward to more opportunities for youth from our community of Toronto.
The time has come for great films, fun moments and of course a chance to rub shoulders with celebrities. In partnership with tiff we are always excited to expose our youth to a world of film each and every September. This opportunity has allowed for some young people to think about film in a different way. Meaning a way that feels more attainable rather than thinking of film as only blockbuster screenplays that make it to Cineplex. Film can be a chance to tell our stories and share it with the community or the world through festivals such as this one. Please check out the tiff website for a complete list and just know that we hope to have some young SBL people on that list soon!
Today was a day of remembrance, celebration, and self care. Westview and the larger community started the day in the cafeteria; explored different spaces in Westview for the afternoon and ended the day back to where we started with a tribute to those we have lost in this difficult year. During the break out sessions, we collaborated with Game Changers who are experts in facilitating conflict mediation sessions for youth. We wanted to build community health by focusing on every day issues and how it can be managed through positive conflict mediation techniques. The day was a success and it showed true community strength towards a common purpose.
Each year before the holiday break, SBL has its annual End of the Year Celebration/Party to not only close off the school year, but to also celebrate the achievements of our youth. This is a time where we give thanks and recognize our volunteers and mentors that go the extra mile in our after-school program. We always kick off the celebration, with a slideshow recapping the year from September to the present to remind us of what we have done so far! The assembly also provided an outlet to showcase the accomplishments and skills that are gained during the after-school program such as having our youth dance facilitator/volunteer Daisphia Francis performing a dance routine with one of our mentees Sherisa Baker. After our assembly, we come back to the SBL space for games, music, and food!
In the final year of high school, there is some youth that may have decided what route they would like to take after high school and then there is still a group of students that are undecided, unsure if they would like to go to college or university. Therefore, SBL has decided to take a group of students to both the University Fair and the College Fair to give youth the opportunity to learn more about the different universities and colleges that exist in Ontario, to speak to different representatives about programs that they might be interested in or just to have the opportunity to decide if university or college would be the best fit for them in September 2018. Our youth were definitely excited for this opportunity to visit these respective fairs and we will be taking another set of youth next year!
Thanks to the Youth Opportunities Fund we are able to better expose our youth to an array of supports that will develop greater post secondary aspirations through engaged programming.