Many times, students don’t seem to understand the power of our words, and how impactful or how much of a difference our voice can make towards the world, environment and community. Another thing youth don’t seem to take full advantage of is the great opportunities and privileges that get placed into our hands and laps. Usually when we hear about workshops taking place after school, our first instinct is to not go. However, when actually attending workshops we realize there is knowledge that will better our lives and those around us. On September 29th, Success Beyond Limits had a workshop held by Sophie that allowed other students and myself to collaborate and put together information that would help form a website for Toronto youth similar to ones created by the City of Mississauga and Vancouver.
I personally felt like taking part in the workshop was a great opportunity for myself and other youth to advocate and speak on issues or topics that can be covered on the website that will give young teens from the ages of 15-29 faster and more convenient access to answers of common questions that get asked. For example, “What organization in Toronto works with youth within the ages of 14-18?” During the workshop, we were able to cover a variety of things, such as how the website should be designed that would attract more traffic and what should be included on the website such a directory, pictures, etc. Throughout the workshop I felt like there were a lot of agreements and disagreements about certain topics, yet everyone’s voices was heard, and Sophie jotted down notes which will then be further discussed with her partners when creating the website.
To get workshops to be engaging, it is best to get the youth/students interacting. Sophie did this by giving us a list of topics that are important and allowing us to place stickers beside the ones we thought were most important. The tricky part was we were only able to choose five and there were many more important topics. However, doing this helped Sophie narrow down what we, as youth felt needed the most attention in our city.
We’re looking forward to a draft of the website. – Vethusha (SBL Mentor)