“If the event was held again next year, I would sign up in a heartbeat. It was amazing,” gushed Erin Mertinz, participant at the Peel Youth Leaders Conference. There was no denying that most youth leaders present felt the same way. I saw a couple of other participants nod in unison and I couldn’t help but smile – would I sign up again?
Held on the 23rd of July, 2013, hosted by Peel Children and Youth Initiative (PCYI) and sponsored by the Collette Foundation, the Peel Youth Leaders Conference was an affair to remember. The conference saw workshops conducted by Darryl Wolk from Fair Share Peel, Stephanie Crocker and Rahul Mehta of Ecosource and motivational speaker, Chris D’Souza.
The event began with opening remarks from Graham Clyne, Executive Director at PCYI and Brett Walker, General Manager of Collette Vacations Canada and Canadian Ambassador of the Collette Foundation. This increased everybody’s anticipation about what the day had in store for us. First up, Darryl Wolk shared information about a career in politics. I could see that his talk had participants contemplating about what it would really mean for them to serve the region by stepping into politics in the future.
Next, Stephanie Crocker and Rahul Mehta of Ecosource, held a workshop on “Youth-Adult Partnerships,” that taught us how to effectively pitch our ideas to adults and get them to sit up and take notice. The exercise also made us think about our experiences with youth-adult partnerships and how we can make it better in order to reach collective goals and objectives.
Over lunch, the room was abuzz with ideas and information being shared amongst the participants. The day came to a close with Chris D’Souza giving an inspiring talk on “Leadership and Identity Politics” and, I am sure, it had many thinking about their own leadership styles.
PCYI had also organized a “Volunteer and Career Exhibit” after the conference. This became an excellent platform to directly connect with different organizations and sign-up to become a volunteer with organizations such as the Collette Foundation, United Way, VolunteerMBC, and the Mississauga Library, amongst others.
The conference was not only very informational but also was an opportunity to interact with other youth leaders from different groups in the region, including PCYI’s Youth Advisory Council, who would definitely become a part of such conferences in the future.
So, would I sign-up again? In a heartbeat!
Marvi Khatwani has recently completed her postgraduate studies in Corporate Communications from Sheridan College. She also holds a Bachelors in Mass Media Degree from Mumbai University. She is passionate about working in the not-for-profit sector and is currently serving as a Communications Volunteer with Peel Children and Youth Initiative. When she is not conspiring to take over the world, she prefers to read or go hiking with her family and friends.