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Big Circle

 -Brantford Youth Leadership Conference Closing Closing Circle

Brantford, ON – Organizers of the first annual Brantford Youth Leadership Conference are celebrating a successful day after an engaging afternoon full of discussions, calls to action and youth networking. 

“This was an incredible day for us,” said Ryan Jamula, President of the Brant Young New Democrats who helped to organize both the Leadership Conference and the Free Youth Dodgeball Tournament that took place earlier in the day. “This was a great day to connect with other youth who want to make a difference in this community.”

Ram Jam

-Brant Young New Democrats President Ryan Jamula

The conference began with a series of speeches from former youth leaders on the subject of leadership. Speeches were given by Brantford Mayor Chris Friel, Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister Winner Amy Robichaud-Harpe, and Freedom House’s Dave Carrol. That was followed by workshops on community issues by former Green Party candidate Adam King, Josh Bean of the Brantford Arts Block, and Paul Teleki, campaign manager for Federal Liberal Candidate Betsy McGregor in Peterborough. The day ended with a roundtable discussion on how the youth of Brantford should move forward in creating a better community.  

“This is a great example of youth empowerment in our community,” said Brant Federal NDP Candidate Marc Laferriere. “The youth heard from the young leaders who came before them to get a sense of how they can change this community for the better. We’re not going to solve every issue in an afternoon, but we’re not going to solve any issue if we don’t know what they are, and today gave all of us a chance to listen.”

Kids at Dodgeball

-Some of the youth who participated in the YNDP’s 2nd Annual Free Dodgeball Tournament

After an afternoon of positive community advocacy and youth activism, organizers are already looking forward to next year’s youth leadership conference.

“There was a lot of depth shown from the young leaders who joined us today from the community.  This is just a sliver of the potential the youth in our community have.  It’s time to build on this, run with it and move their agenda forward.  I think a lot of young people will take the lessons and conversations from the day with them and use them.  I know I will.”

Run

-Eagle Place Youth and former Eagle Place Youth Marc Laferriere participate in a game of Dodgeball

Photo’s courtesy of local photographer Ida Adamowicz whose album from the event can be seen by clicking here