Preparing for another amazing school year

Fall is just around the corner!

Have you missed us? Youth Ottawa is preparing for another school year, filled with all of our engaging programs. We have a full roster of Youth Active Media, Active Citizenship Initiative, Artistic Mentorship Program, and a brand new program! 

Involvement with Youth Ottawa is always open, but fall is one of the best times to get involved! Take a look at some of the programs we’re offering this year and choose the one (or few) most suited for you!

Programs we offer:

1. Youth Active Media (YAM)

Youth Active Media aims to engage students in digital literacy through learning about camera angles, lighting, editing, and much more. Facilitators go through interactive lessons to give these students the tools they need for success in video production or editing. Our students have gone on to become videographers, photographers, or just come away from the program with a new-found appreciation for media production!

To take your student’s digital literacy skills to the next level, learn more or sign up here.

2. Active Citizenship Initiative (ACI)

The Active Citizenship Initiative is a program that encourages students to use their voice for positive change, both within their lives and within their communities. As we like to remind people, youth need to have a voice in the matters that impact them the most. With ACI, young people are able to bring their ideas forward to city councillors to make the city a better place, addressing the issues that mean the most to them. Last year, we returned our Youth Action Showcase event during the first ever National Youth Week in Ottawa, and we hope to make next year’s event even bigger with your help!

If you’re interested in introducing ACI in your classes, please fill out this form.

3. Artistic Mentorship Program (AMP)

The Artistic Mentorship Program returned this year and has gone above and beyond to bring young artists closer to success! Not only have we been working with artists of all mediums to help develop their entrepreneurial skills, but we have also hosted several live concerts where they got paid for their awesome performances! In order to continue amplifying these incredibly talented youth and expand our reach, we will need your support!

Please consider donating here or signing up here!

New program alert: Computer Programmers Unite (CPU)!

As a current student at Carleton University for Computer Science, Byron McDonald said he had always been interested in computer programming but never got the chance to study it in high school due to a lack of teachers. After noticing the lack of programming courses throughout several other high schools, Byron decided to take the initiative and begin one himself for others in the same situation. 

Being a long-time volunteer at Youth Ottawa, he knew exactly where to go to get this done. With the help of Carleton University and Youth Ottawa, he built an entire program from the ground up. 

Building a course from scratch of course brought many challenges and successes along the way. Although teaching online workshops this summer helped him become a better teacher, he said he still struggles with predicting the needs of future students he hasn’t met yet, such as the in-person cohort he hopes to teach this fall. 

“It’s really just trying to convert something that is extremely unapproachable to something that I could get anyone to do, and that’s definitely been difficult,” he said. “It’s fun getting stuff like that done…the process of creation is fun.”

Now, we are just a couple of weeks away from introducing this new program to our fall roster. The lessons will aim to follow a similar structure to our Youth Active Media program, with students being taught and guided in their self-directed projects. 

At the moment, Byron is our only program facilitator for this program, but who knows where the next year will take us? The need for digital literacy is growing, as is the need for programmers and for programming teachers! Maybe you, your students, or someone you know could be the person who needs a class like this most.

“I really hope that I can get people interested in what I’m doing. In terms of personal experience, if I had had the program I’m planning on running in high school, I would’ve been so much better prepared–I would’ve had a much more realistic understanding of what I was getting into, going into computer science” – Byron McDonald 

He added that he hopes to make a similar impact on students that participating in YAM a couple years ago did to him and his friend Matthias. Although Byron found YAM to be a fun environment and a great place to make friends, the program inspired Matthias to pursue media studies as post-secondary education.

“If I could deliver one life-changing experience or five nice times, that’s great to me,” he said.

Want to help Byron out? Visit this link to sign your class up for computer programming classes!

Don't forget!

We will of course be running our usual programs this fall, including the Youth Active Media program, the Active Citizenship Initiative, and the Artistic Mentorship Program. Over the past 25 years, we’ve impacted over 300 students in each of these programs each year and hope to grow our reach even further to amplify our youth’s fullest potential.

If you’re interested in any of these programs, fill out the form below!

Want to help us fulfill our mission but don’t know where to start? Donating is a great, simple way to make a huge impact in the lives of young people!