There is a noticeable issue with how youth are not provided with the resources, education, or mindset to make a change. However, these youth make up 35.8% of the GTA population, and 100% of the future. With over 100,000 youth currently live in York Region, 34% whom are visible minorities, it is crucial they are fully educated about the social issues that impact their everyday lives. Only when they know that can make a difference, how they can go about making that change, which people they can reach out to, will they really develop the self-confidence and leadership necessary to make an impactful difference.
Common social issues that exist in York Region are poverty, youth homelessness, drug/alcohol abuse, mental health, sexism, racism and discrimination. They impact the of youth of York Region, regardless if they are facing these problems firsthand. The issue is that youth are not aware of these issues in their entirely, causing many misunderstandings and stigmas that divide people rather than bring them together. We believe that with more youth educated about social justice issues and how to advocate for change, York Region will have a more invested and secure future ahead of them. Engaging youth to be more involved concerning issues in York Region can also inspire others to make a difference within their own neighbourhoods, which causes a rippling effect across the city.
We also focus on helping the youth themselves become changemakers, giving them a sense of intrinsic reward, motivation, and confidence. They will also have opportunities to hone their resiliency and communication skills, as they learn to network with others and experience working for a goal that yields tangible results. We aid them in developing their character and passing along the skills they have acquired to even younger generations, furthering the cycle of learning and taking action into what will eventually be a better place for all. Solving these significant issues can contribute to York Region’s current and future generations to leading better lives.
Change Starts Today, is able to touch the hearts of youth in York Region. Our team of 8 high school students plan the immersive conference to educate them on social justice issues through speakers and activities. We help give them a deeper understanding of which issues affect their communities and what they can do to help. By providing them with not only ideas, but also a network of other individuals who are hoping to achieve the same goals, we make their ambitions seem far less daunting. Youth working together is an unstoppable force, and Change Starts Today wants to give the youth of York Region the resources and connections necessary to become great leaders themselves.