We interviewed Maryan Osman, a PCYI Youth Advisory Council (YAC) member and one of PCYI’s Youth Board members. Maryan has been a Play in Peel ambassador, promoting the new app to her peers in our community. Maryan tells us a bit about her journey – from the launch event to her first TV appearance – here.

PCYI: Tell us about yourself.

Maryan: The year 2014 is an exciting year for me as it marks the completion of my Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Brock University. I am glad that I’ve completed that chapter of my life and I look forward to embracing new employment opportunities in the ‘real world’. I’m particularly passionate about opportunities that would allow me to explore the world of Marketing and Event Management. I am open to other aspects of business administration such as Operations Management and Human Resources. Although I am a business graduate, I have always been passionate about helping others as well as getting involved in my community, which is why I got involved with Peel Children and Youth Initiative (PCYI) three years ago from today. Wow, time flies! 10306399_782192415154281_2397567928053258330_n

Tell us about the PCYI Youth Advisory Council (YAC) and your involvement.

When I first came across PCYI it was in its early stages, before the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) was even created, which I later transferred to. PYCI was a new experience for me; it was great to see that youth input was greatly valued by organizations. It was great to see an organization that not only helps and empowers youth, but also has youth involved in its programs, research, and feedback in order to ensure the voices of youth are heard. One recent project PCYI conducted was the Recreation and After School Strategy, which asked youth what where their barriers, challenges, and needs for getting involved in after-school activities. The YAC assisted in conducting focus groups, surveys and interpreting the ‘so what’ of the results. Being a part of PCYI for the last 3 years has been great. I got to witness the organization drastically grow from the ground up to what it is today. I can’t wait to see what PCYI has in store next, and how the YAC will be involved.

What is the PlayInPeel.org app?

Well, the Play in Peel app is truly remarkable. The app allows you to search for activities going on in Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon while organizing it for you by distance. All you have to do is set some search terms such as age, date range, time and date, etc. and if you know what you’re looking for you can even filter out the results by searching for keywords.

What we need is for information to be open to the public in an easy accessible manner. Every community centre has information on what’s going on its faculty, which is why it’ll be beneficial for the citizens of the community to have all of this information in one easy-to-access app. The Play in Peel app helps solve this problem by becoming the one stop location for all activities in Peel.

How have you contributed the development of PlayInPeel.org?

The idea for such an app for developed after PCYI conducted research on youth in Peel for the Recreation and After School Strategy report. The YAC was involved in assisting in youth focus groups across Peel. From all that research, there came 19 recommendations and the Play in Peel app met one of those recommendations. PCYI partnered with Microsoft, as well as a local organization, Web Nodes, to create the Play in Peel web app. The apps uses data collected from the cities and centers that have opened up their recreation data for the community to use.

What was the Play in Peel launch event like? How were you involved?

The Play in Peel app was launched on May 26, 2014 at the Century Gardens Recreation Centre in Brampton. It was a great turn out! I got the chance to present the app to the public. Everyone got a chance to learn more about the app and we provided a demo. The app is simple to use, so don’t forget to check it out.10414596_782191911820998_8928380159729300795_n

What do you think Play in Peel can do for the Region of Peel and other youth like you?

It can do a lot. I personally used to search hours just to find something to do with my friends. With the Play in Peel, the search time was cut to a minute. This app would be really useful for youth in Peel. Most of the time, when youth try to find something to do they don’t have a go to site to search for activities. Most youth hang out at the malls, go out to eat, the movies, wonderland at least twice the whole summer, then what? I also believe if youth have nothing to do, they will be in a higher risk in doing something not productive. Most of the time adults would blame the youth for not getting involved, but you have to look at it from the youth’s perspective. From the PCYI Recreation and After School report we found out that youth in Peel do want to get involved, they just don’t have the necessary information. Play in Peel solves that problem.

What do your friends think of Play in Peel?

After telling my friends about the app they were excited. We started searching for activities to do together in Peel. One of my friends was able to find a Zumba class close to her area, and she’s in the process of signing up. Another friend found a basketball league for us, which meets all of our time constraints. We always wanted to play basketball together but we didn’t know where and most of the time we would not meet the age requirement for the leagues.

What was it like to talk about Play in Peel on Rogers TV Cable 10 Live?

RogersIt was exciting to talk on Rogers TV Cable 10 for a live interview! The whole ‘live’ part was an interesting experience. It was great to talk about the app again, this time with Krista from PCYI. After presenting the app we find out the people after us never showed so we got more airtime. This gave us a chance to go more in-depth in explaining the app.

How can our readers explore Play in Peel for themselves? How can our partners let their staff and clients know about Play in Peel?

Well, the Play in Peel app is for people of all ages. Just log on to the site www.PlayInPeel.org and search away. Find things to do with your family, friends and colleagues. Let your staff and clients know, it’s great for everyone. This is just the beginning — why not join us on this journey?


Do you live in Peel? Maryan tells us why you should #PlayInPeel, too