Several hundred young people attended the Youth Engagement Forum on Tuesday at the Machine Shop to vice their ideas about what would make the Sault a better place for them.
“we want the youth to have a voice and we want them to know they are valued and I hope that really comes across, we’re going to be structuring a Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council we’re getting some feedback on that and the youth can speak directly to the Mayor’s office” Said Mayor Christian Provenzano. “I love to hear what they say about the community”
The youth present talked about what they would like to see happen in the Sault and it doesn’t always include fun activities.
Allcsha Schwemler from Holy Angels School says she would like to see bullying, harassment and racism to stop anything about mental illness. I love this event, I like to inspire people”
“We want to see more youth engagement around the city” commented Karlee Reece , a grade 10 student from Superior Heights.
“The things See in the city is its growing diversity and also seeing all these youth engagement projects, I’m really excited about them” said Madison McLaughlin a Grade 12 student
“I think something like this is great, it’s what I would do if I wanted to see change in this city is to have to have more youth engagement” said Quin Green from White Pines.
Ben Fisher,”I think this is a fantastic event, we just listened to an awesome keynote speaker about confidence , I would love see more arts and cultural events come up”
Madison McLaughlin from Superior Heights is happy to see the city stepping up on youth ideas and opinions, “Seeing cultural diversity and acceptance and the fact it’s going to become a huge topic in the Sault is exciting to me” Karlee Reece also from Superior Heights came to the event because the youth have a say in the community, “I think as the youth we have to speak out to get things done such as more activities around the city and more youth engagement”
Quinn from White Pines thought having the event held in an historic place was a great idea ,”it really gets you into a good mind set having it in this building where everything kinda started, it’s really cool to be in such an historical place.
“I really think we should promote the specialist high school majors because it lets you get set in the area you’re interested in”
“We try to work on the ideas” Ward councillor Terry Sheehan said”we have to start putting money where our mouth is , we want to start a youth fund a little bit of money to seed ideas”
“I think one of the biggest proms is that the youth feel disenfranchised in Northern Ontario and that no one is listening to them, part of youth retention is not just a bunch of politicians with their ideas, it’s listening to the youths’ ideas.”
The event was made possible through sponsorships from the Province of Ontario, Algoma Workforce Investment Corporation, Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation and Employment Solutions, the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre is presenting this event in conjunction with Vive Consulting. A number of individuals and group are helping to facilitate the forum, including Mill Square, Algoma District School Board, Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board, Algoma University, Sault College, Social Enterprise Evolution – NORDIK, Sault Community Career Centre, Awesome Youth from Youth Social Infrastructure, Indian Friendship Centre, STRIVE Young Professionals Group, Algoma Youth Engagement Network – Algoma Public Health, Thinking Rock Community Arts, Crank Sound Distribution, Kina’s Katering, and Start-Up Sault.