Last month, hundreds of youth gathered to share ideas and generate solutions on how to make Sault Ste. Marie a better place to live, learn, work and play. Yesterday, participants from the 2015 Youth Engagement Forum presented some of their key findings to Mayor Christian Provenzano. The following were identified as priorities for building a more youth-friendly community:
· Create a Youth Hub, a safe, inclusive space for youth to interact and learn;
· Finalize an Online Youth Portal, which is currently in progress;
· Increase Mental Health Services and Programs;
· Create Alternative Post-Secondary Options; and
· Build Relations with City Council and Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council.
The full report from the 2015 Youth Engagement Forum is available online at http://www.sault-canada.com//uploads/doc_635652277947139656.pdf.
“We are continuing to build momentum in our community for youth initiatives,” said Mayor Christian Provenzano. “With tangible projects like the Youth Portal and the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council almost ready to be launched, we have the opportunity to further increase engagement and deliver more targeted programming in response to youth needs.”
Mayor Christian Provenzano and Councillor Terry Sheehan with some of the participants at the 2015 Youth Engagement Forum.
The 2015 Youth Engagement Forum was held March 10 at the Mill Square Machine Shop. Nearly 300 youth and their adult allies gathered for a full-day of reflection and idea sharing. With the theme of “Make Your Community Move – Make the World Move,” the event opened with a presentation from Mayor Christian Provenzano, followed by a keynote speech from David Jones of Turtle Concepts. Participants were then divided into peer groups, where they discussed specific issues and ideas to solve them. Some youth also participated in an Entrepreneurial Challenge, led by the Algoma District School Board and Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation.
The 2015 Youth Engagement Forum was facilitated by the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre and Vive Consulting. Sponsorship was provided by the Province of Ontario, Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, Employment Solutions and Algoma Workforce Investment Corporation. Additional support came from a number of individuals and organizations, including the Mayor’s Office and City of Sault Ste. Marie, Algoma District School Board, Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board, Algoma University, Sault College, Algoma Youth Engagement Network, Crank Sound Distributions, ER Employment Consulting, Imagine Designs, 8:56, Kina’s Catering, Sault Community Career Centre, Social Enterprise Evolution, Start-up Sault, Strive Young Professionals, Turtle Concepts, Pino’s Get Fresh, National Grocer, Thinking Rock Community Arts, Batchewana First Nation, Youth Social Infrastructure, and Sault Promo.