I came across this article in Reader’s Digest, written by Jasmine Budak.

NORTHERN ELITE: A school In Ottawa is grooming promising young Inuit to become leaders of their communities.

There is a program called, Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) that readies Inuit youth for college, university or the workforce. This can be difficult for youth that live in the an Article Settlement, like Coral Harbour, Nunavut, a town of 800 people. This is the only program of it’s kind. NS caters specifically to Inuit, with a relevant mix of cultural and academic study, as well as urban life experiences – all in Ottawa, thousand of kilometres from one’s home.

This is to assist them with their life experiences.

I too am working on programs for our youth that inspire, empower and educate them with life skills. I teach these children to speak their truth and set their boundaries, ultimately creating their worth. One grass roots program is currently being carried out as we speak. Initially, I approached, CARP, Canadian Association of Retired Persons to do a co-operative program between the boomers, their clientele, and the youth. With a vision and program in mind, I created a joint co-operation between CARP, Thornlea High School & their students (in Thornhill) and me, 2bempowerd Inc. What evolved was a dual mentoring program. We are executing part 1 of the program idea: student-led computer mentoring program.

We just completed the 3 of 4 weeks. 10 students agreed to participate and become “teachers” for the CARP adult students to teach them computer basics, social media and software & applications. It has been a great learning for the young students and adults as well. What is intended is that for their hours of teaching and prep time the young students will receive high school community hours (# tbd). While this is one result, the real benefit is allowing the youth to foster their life skills – communication, teaching/guiding/mentoring, creativity and growth. The students have been guided by myself and Shawn Sipos, their teacher. The other part of this is connecting our youth and the older generation in finding a common ground to relate to and begin building a relationship. Most importantly, learning to communicate with one another. As the younger students found out … sometimes you need to slow it down and let the “older” students absorb this new information. What Shawn and I have observed, is how well the young and “older” generation are connecting through gestures, comments and energy!

I am so proud of the “teaching students”. One life lesson I will leave them with is that no one can define who they are and they can create what ever they want for themselves: they can do it!

I am also really proud of my work. I do have one glitch to overcome and that requires taking back my power and declaring my worth – my work. A recent article written in Zoomer magazine declared that I “am a CARP member and acted as a liaison between CARP and the principal of Thornlea SS” to organize these sessions. That is UNTRUE – I am NOT a member of CARP and this is not their creation NOR their program. They were invited to participate in a joint co-operative effort. I know must address this. I walk my talk and so I too am forced to stand up for myself. I am ok with that and I will do so. I know that NO ONE CAN OR WILL DEFINE ME. I know the intentions of my work and that no one can take that away from me. My work is my youth movement, Voices of Youth, currently under my corporation, 2bempowered Inc. with the intention of creating a youth charity!

I look forward to the next steps in creating this youth charity.

Let’s keep on empowering our youth while mentoring and guiding them. This is a small portion of our society HOWEVER it is 100% of our future.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.

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