I have been attending For Youth Initiative (FYI) since I was in grade 10, in 2016. As a student of a nearby high school I was curious about this centre where my class mates would hang out after school. I joined Youth Empowering Parents (YEP), a program that helps youth improve their leadership skill by helping adults and seniors learn how to use and manage a computer, how to operate a smartphone, and how to use a tablet.We started the program in February 2017 with only 7 youth participants. Because of a lack of support the program stopped for a few months but the youth never gave up. We started a second cohort in September of that year with 22 youth participants; 10 of them were new to FYI. The program has grown to the point that it is now the program that youth seek at FYI. We started this school year with 30 registered youth participants, 19 of them new to FYI.
YEP has helped me to progress and develop my leadership skills. I started in the program as a participant, after some time I was able to run the program as coordinator and now I am the main coordinator leading not just the youth but also other coordinators. Last summer I was elected by FYI's Youth Advisory Committee to co-chair the committee and I'm also serving as a Youth Director on the FYI Board. This shows that the programs at FYI help youth to scale and start from tiny things -- like being part of a program -- to big things that will impact our future.
We consider Youth Empowering Parents as the program that has developed some of our youth leaders at For Youth Initiative and we hope this continues in order to create a better base for our community's future.