The Grove Hubs Wellington Guelph has recently expanded their initiative, Youth Advisory Council (YAC), with the intention to hear the voices of local youth. The initiative which launched in 2020 has recently been revamped with the goal to engage more youth and give them the opportunity to become leaders in their community. The YAC meets monthly at The Grove Wellington Guelph’s 4 sites, open to youth aged 12-26.
“Our Youth Advisory Council provides an excellent opportunity for youth to influence positive changes for their peers. What we are seeing as a result is youth who care deeply about their communities,” says Tiffany Fagan, Team Lead at The Grove Hubs - Palmerston. “The Youth Advisory Council is instrumental in providing critical feedback on issues our local youth are facing, and how we can improve our services to meet those needs.”
At these monthly meetings, youth have the opportunity to take the lead in making a difference at The Grove and in the communities; with support from the team at The Grove, youth put their voices and perspectives forward. Participating youth gain valuable communication and leadership skills, allowing them to confidently lead the planning of events and initiatives at the sites and in the community.
Some of the initiatives that have come out of the YAC to date include a student bursary program for one high school student each year, a prom dress event where they collected donated prom dresses for a week-long free shopping event, a ghost painting event, and more. Regularly, youth come up with ideas that will best engage their peers.
“The Youth Advisory Council program is important because it positively contributes to the community through youth engagement with positive mental health and wellness initiatives for themselves and their peers,” says Marisa Barbosa, Youth Ambassador at The Grove Hubs - Fergus. “ The ideas implemented from the YAC serve the community to offer support and education through The Grove’s skills and wellbeing stream. By providing youth with the opportunity to share their voice and experience, the YAC is able to assess what our community needs and implement support and programming to tangibly respond to these needs.”
The YAC's goal is to provide a safe and inclusive space for youth to learn and grow. From September to June, the youth involved with YAC are committed to making The Grove Hubs a youth-friendly space as we grow and expand. To celebrate this commitment, youth involved in the YAC receive an honorarium and some delicious food during meetings.
If you are interested in joining The Grove’s Youth Advisory Council at a Hub near you, please contact email@example.com
If you would like to stay up to date with what The Grove, subscribe to their monthly newsletter, The Heart of The Grove News, here: https://www.thegrovehubs.ca/stayconnected
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