I’ve had a blast these last couple months getting to meet such amazing youth and adult allies across the province! Last week, I had the chance to visit another awesome TNM group with our partner agency Open Doors for Lanark Children & Youth. I’ve been eager to visit this group ever since they became a part of our network late last year!
This group has been doing such a wonderful job building relationships with one another, and I could really tell how the adult allies have created an environment that encourages youth to be bold, and brave. It is so important in the times we are in now to really focus on building relationships since we’ve gone virtual, we’re all missing that in person connection. We spent the meeting connecting with one another, and I came to know that a youth in the group has been on TV multiple times, and will be starring in a film soon….. I was SO starstruck being in the presence of a celebrity.
We spent the meeting having conversations on recruitment strategies, school mental health, and so much more! We also spoke about the work we’re doing at The New Mentality surrounding anti-racism and mental health. Something that really stood out the most to me was when a youth in the group shared about the reality of speaking on topics such as politics, race, and religion were something that folks would never discuss in the past because they were considered taboo in society. More recently, we’ve been able to give these topics more attention, encourage them to be discussed, and have had healthy conversations surrounding them.
Having these conversations can be uncomfortable for many, but this group has created an environment where everyone is cared for, where they are encouraged to learn and unlearn together. I was incredibly impressed and proud to see the group share with me the growth they’ve experienced during the pandemic and have created a virtual space that has felt safe and comfortable for them.
I’m so happy I got the chance to spend time with the group, and am looking forward to visiting them again and continuing our conversations together. I’m also very much looking forward to seeing our celebrity youth on TV soon!
See you all soon on zoom,
Fizza Abbas, Network Coordinator