Prevalent social issues within York Region are poverty, youth homelessness, drug abuse, mental health, and discrimination. Impacts are heartfelt by many, but work their way subtly into the lives of everybody. However, there is a noticeable issue with how youth not being provided the resources, education, or mindset to make a change; youth who make up 35.8% of the GTA population, and 100% of the future. With over 100,000 young individuals 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. Change Starts Today aims at curbing the information gap left by the education system, by providing youth with engaging opportunities to learn and act upon these social issues.
“Our youth of today, are the leaders of tomorrow.”[FC3] The great quote from Nelson Mandela holds true to this day, and is ever more prevalent in our lives. Change Starts Today aims at helping youth become changemakers, giving them a sense of duty and compassion whilst providing them courage and motivation to shape the world they live in. These conferences not only introduce social issues to youth, but builds upon their plethora of skills they may bring to their community. Resiliency, communication, and initiative are among the highlighted skills within our conferences during networking sessions and team-building challenges. The change we hope to create in the lives of youth will ripple throughout their lives to impact all those they interact with. Our ultimate goal[FC4] is to start[FC5] change today, [FC6] so we can build a better tomorrow.
Change Starts Today is a program that plans a one-day conference focusing on multiple issues faced in modern society. We look to inspire and instill passion within the next generation of youth and motivation to take action in order to minimize and prevent such social inequalities. This is achieved through interactive simulations, meaningful discussions and motivational speakers that perform and share their stories in an engaging way. Our conference is available for students in York Region to attend and learn about selected issues that are present in our society. After attending the conference, the delegates are then given a chance to create an action plan for them to start solving the issues they learned about. At the post-conference follow up, we review the action plans and see what individuals did or not do and evaluate what we can do together. Change Starts Today is working towards building a generation of youth that will not be afraid of standing up and want to make a positive impact on the issues we face in society.
There is a noticeable issue seeing 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 living in York Region, 34% whom are visible minorities, it is crucial that they are fully educated about the social issues that impact their everyday lives. We recognize that when youth recognize their ability to make a difference and realize how they can do so, 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 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 members plan the immersive conference to educate them on social justice issues through speakers and activities to 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.