by Kathleen MacLeod, Membership and Youth Engagement Coordinator
You know that song by Vitamin C called Graduation that goes, “As we go on, we remember all the times we had together”? I know it’s cheesy – but bear with me – that song has been going through my head as we draw closer to our final youth council meeting.
I’ve reflected on the time we had together and the things we have accomplished. The group of youth we have had the privilege of working with this year has done some incredible work and we want to take the time now to showcase our efforts. 
A personal accomplishment indeed, our writer, paralegal, and tour-de-force Sarah Desforges started our Blog series off with an incredibly vulnerable post about her journey to finding a career as a person with a disability in rural northern Ontario. She has contributed so much creativity, leadership, and honesty to the group. We are so grateful and hope that her blog post helps others in similar circumstances feel seen and less alone.  
Read her post here: 
Nick Sutherland is incredibly professional, bringing great work ethic to our meetings and thought leadership. Not only are they hardworking, but they understand the importance of social time and the value that relationships bring to your life and career journey. Nick’s blog challenged us to consider human connection and networking just as central to our education as studying.  
Read their post here:  
Our youngest youth council member Abhishak Jeseleeyan highlighted a mentor’s encouragement as what inspired him to begin his career journey.
He is such a light in youth council meetings and brought such fun and heartfelt moments to the group. We loved helping him tell his story. 
Read his post here:  
Always a strong and compassionate leader, Promi Begum sat as co-chair of our Youth Council.
Her experienced, gentle and person-centered approach to building relationships has been a joy to witness.Her lasting gift to us was a blog helping us to learn how to network in a way that felt more genuine and intentional.
Read her post here:  
Karuna Adhikari’s ideas and suggestions come from careful consideration and analysis.
Highlighting her strengths and interests was key in her decision-making around postsecondary education.
She reaches out to youth who may be overwhelmed and unsure at how to tackle such a big decision. Watching Karuna come out of her shell this year on the council has truly been a pleasure! 
Read her post here:   
Priscilla Mensah has grown so much in the past year on the council. We have seen her take on leadership roles and contribute to discussions in thoughtful ways. In brainstorming sessions Priscilla is imaginative and decisive, and her positive and negative experiences with Employment Services Providers help bring awareness to the variety of supports offered in this Province.   
Read her post here: 
Charlton Sinclair is a force with the many volunteer and work experiences he’s had so far at such a young age. With his vibrant personality, he tackles problems and tasks with confidence.
Even with his jampacked extracurricular schedule, he chose to be a part of our youth council this year, and we were better for it.  
Read his post here:  
Nathi Zamisa has an infectious smile and cares deeply about the concerns of youth in the workplace.
They are passionate about creating spaces for those primarily left out of important conversations and places. Nathi is working on their Master’s degree and still made time to participate in the youth council and contribute their knowledge and expertise in labour studies.  
Read their post here:  
Our youth council are the future Changemakers of Ontario – and we are recruiting our 2023-24 cohort!  Click on the image to join us: 
This year’s cohort reminds us that listening to the diverse thoughts and experiences of young people is crucial to the work that we do, and we appreciate them giving their time to contribute to the mission and vision of First Work. We thank you and we will always be rooting for you, Youth Council 2022-2023! 
Categories: Emotional Intelligence, Employment Services, Mentorship, Motivation, Personal Story / Published On: March 21st, 2023 /