Brockville – On Friday, November 24th, 60 youth from across Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties came together to share ideas and inspiration on how to connect to their communities at the Power Up Youth Summit held at the Brockville Memorial Centre.
The summit was a follow up to the 3 day event in February that focused on rural youth civic engagement and was funded by an Ontario 150 grant through the Volunteer Centre of St. Lawrence-Rideau and several other youth serving partner organizations.
Youth attended from Perth, Lanark, Smiths Falls, Prescott, Brockville, Portland and the Township of Leeds and Thousand Islands.
Friday began with heartfelt and inspiring messages from both MPP Steve Clark and Brockville city councilor Leigh Bursey.
Dynamic youth leader Matt Tod was able to come back and share his stories of youth action and motivation to stay ‘powered up’ with the group.
The rest of the day was spent hearing from local groups of young people who have taken action in their own communities since February, and planning future projects. Youth chose to demonstrate their ‘power’ by forming the words Power Up in ‘human font’ which was photographed from the sky courtesy of Mark Oliver from Photovisions.
They also started a mental health social media challenge using #StressDownPowerUp and promoting positive ways to cope with stress.
Young people were also asked how they want their voices heard in their communities and asked for ideas to increase community support for youth.