Last week I got to visit our New Mentality group in Scarborough, at East Metro Youth Services (EMYS)!
Walking into EMYS, I was amazed at how incredibly youth friendly the space was, from a recording studio, to video games, and so much more! The space was very interactive, and made me wish I was still a youth.
I first met with the two new adult allies who’ve joined the team, and it was great getting to hear how their group runs, getting a tour of the place, and of course side tracking and having conversations about our favourite Disney show. If you were wondering, we unanimously agreed That’s So Raven and Lizzie McGuire were our top two!
After a fun conversation, I was really looking forward to having a mini reunion with the youth, who I had gotten to know really well over the course of two years during my time as a youth facilitator at our annual summer leadership retreat – Disable the Label.
We took some time reconnecting, and the youth shared with me their excitement about the direction they hope to see The New Mentality go this year. Being relatively new to this role of Network Coordinator, it was really important to me to hear from young people themselves about what the New Mentality is doing well, and what are some areas for improvement.
After some deep conversations and indulging in some pizza, the youth got straight into the project they’re working on this year. This year, the youth are working towards creating a social media presence on Instagram, where they would be able provide youth with resource navigation, and assistance in accessing services in the city of Scarborough. The youth were incredibly detail oriented, knew exactly what their vision was, and were ready to execute their plan. I was very impressed, and proud to see how driven these young individuals were about their project, even with their busy schedules.
I must say, what I liked in particular about the group was how kind and inclusive they were. It felt like everyone had been friends for years.
Visiting East Metro Youth Services’ New Mentality group and meeting the youth, reminded me exactly why I love the work I get to do, and sparked the same passion and energy I had when I first joined. I truly can’t wait to visit more of our youth from across Ontario!
A very special thank you to the adult allies and youth for having me. I look forward to visiting you all again soon!