THUNDER BAY – Indepth – Indeed we have incredible programs geared to youth already implemented in our city of Thunder Bay but quite frankly I wish there were more Centres in the city that focused on strategic directions after the recreation components are over. Thunder Bay Youth Strategy is found on improving the overall quality of life for Youth in the community through action projects and focus groups within the Strategy ,overseen by the Steering committee.
The Steering committee originated on a United Way and an LSPC initiative in September 2010 and is made up of 17 youth representatives, and 14 adults representing 21 City Associations throughout Thunder Bay.
Colleen Peters is the TBYS chair and explains this strategic plan in detail having 8 pillar areas of focus thats overseen by the Steering Committee .
1. Youth involvement/ leadership – Getting the youth heard through various media initiatives. This includes articles discussing youth empowerment and leadership submitted to various local newspapers. A second project that seen a successful launch was their Youth led On Air Radio Show called Young Giants on 102.7 Lu Radio that’s airing every Wednesday at 11 discussing the issues.
2. Environment- The idea is to educate the youth on issues at a local, provincial and international level. This is an opportunity to create action and make positive change starting in September with improving recycling in high schools.
3. Recreation- Creating an information source centrally locating all recreation programs throughout the city that’s easily accessible to all youth.
4. Housing- We are currently researching different funding sources for a youth/homeless shelter that compiles information to take to landlords on the values of renting to youth and finding potential dollars that are available to them.
5. Health- Some fun initiatives that’s currently on the table include, “Roll your way to School Day” ,mentorship gardening , the promotion of Aboriginal health through bi-weekly gym space ,beach soccer and the creation of The Youth Inventory.
6. Education- Working towards a Student/Teacher Forum that allows for better engagement and an opportunity for students to voice any issues on effective communication in the classroom.
7. Employment- The goal is to get more youth employed and volunteer services allowing youth to gain experience to include in their resume of knowledge.
8. Anti-Discrimination & Racism- Major action has begun in this pillar. Youth have already taken an orientation program to Churchill ‘s administration and got approved. This project oversees the focus on creating an atmosphere of understanding ,compassion and kindness for all students and their teachers. Through the success of this workshop we hope it will be adopted by every school in the community.
TBYS recently made the first deputation with City Council early June about who the Strategy Are, what their trying to do and where the strategy is going. Peter’s went on to explain the request for the creation of a Youth Advisory Committee. This alongside representation on behalf of Council to sit at the Committees table would directly invest in already existing youth services but address the gaps that may already exist.
Although there appears to be some hesitance from a percentage of City Council, Peter’s is hopeful TBYS will have 100% support from all members after their second deputation with the City early September.
You can join Colleen Peters and the Thunder Bay Youth Strategy on Facebook and all are welcome to join in the fight for our Youth in the Community.
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Thunder Bay Youth Strategy
Overall Mission Statement: To carry out the development and oversee the implementation of a community effort (a Youth Strategy) that will ensure that every young person (13-24) in Thunder Bay has the opportunity to achieve their potential and is able to make the most of the opportunities available to them.
Goal: The Thunder Bay Youth Strategy Steering Committee will develop and oversee the implementation of a community youth strategy that will be endorsed, supported and carried out by the community of Thunder Bay including: youth, local levels of government, residents, organizations, social service providers, agencies and the private sector.