Oxford County Youth Conference wants to ‘start a conversation’

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A youth-led conference scheduled for later this month is designed both as an opportunity to learn about local youth issues and as a way to shape future activities in Oxford County.

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The Youth Futures Conference, organized by the 21-member Youth Council of the Social Planning Council of Oxford, will share details of the ongoing Communities Building Youth Futures Oxford initiative while offering sessions and panels on exploring career, well-being skills and opportunities for young people in the region. .

All Oxford County residents between the ages of 15 and 30 are invited to join the youth-led and planned conference, organizers said. Tickets are also available for parents of young people and workers in youth-focused organisations.

However, the organizers are also using the conference and a complementary survey to guide future activities of the Youth Council.

“Planning the Youth Futures Conference for young people like me made me feel empowered to improve my future and that of my peers,” said Emilyn Harvey, Youth Council Member and Intern , in a press release. “This conference is a great and fun way to start a conversation about youth futures and introduce (Communities Building Youth Futures Oxford) to the community.”

Funded by the federal government through the Tamarack Institute, a southwestern Ontario non-profit organization dedicated to improving communities, Oxford’s Communities Building Youth Futures initiative is an approach collaboration between youth and community partners to improve youth outcomes and high school graduation rates in the broader community. Working under the auspices of the Social Planning Council, an Oxford-based non-profit organization that focuses on poverty-related issues such as affordable transport and adequate housing, the initiative will “improve existing services, deepen our learning, strengthen our relationships and provide targeted supports. for young people in Oxford County as they transition into adulthood,” officials said.

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The initiative’s partners, which include Oxford County, Oxford County Children’s Aid Society, Employee Community Services, Oxford Community Options for Justice, Wellkin Child and Youth Mental Wellness, South West Public Health, Public School Board and Social Planning Board, are “excited to work hand-in-hand” with local young people to develop “specific projects” to improve outcomes, organizers said.

“Listening to young people from all walks of life in our community is essential to this project,” said Stephanie Ellens-Clark, executive director of the Social Planning Council of Oxford, in a statement. “The Youth Futures conference and survey is a great opportunity to vote hard and help shape this project.

“The Youth Council has done an amazing job planning this event, and I’m sure they will take what they hear and come up with a plan and activities that builds on the existing strengths of our community and leads to positive results.”

Those interested in attending the conference on Saturday May 14 are asked to register in advance. Attendees can attend the event for free, which includes breakfast, lunch and prizes. For high school participants, volunteer hours can also be signed up to attend.

For high school young people in Oxford County who want their voices heard, the survey is available until May 19 at uwo.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8tPKRfgKT90wZiS. The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and focuses on youth experiences and ideas on how the community can help students improve graduation rates. Survey participants will be entered into a draw for one of 10 $50 gift cards.

If you are going to:

What: Youth Futures Conference

When: Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Or: South Gate Center, 191 Old Wellington Street S., Woodstock

Free registration : www.eventbrite.ca/e/youth-futures-conference-oxford-county-tickets-317633419107.

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