At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we believe every child should have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential – both as individuals and citizens. We believe that by changing the course of young lives we can in turn be changing the course of a community’s future.
Start Talking is a place where we want to raise awareness of key issues that face today’s youth. We will sometimes advocate, sometimes educate, sometimes inform, sometimes ask questions and always invite discussion about the pressing concerns that involve the younger generations of today.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Year Later- A Social Innovators Update

Where has the year led me? I feel as though the youth summit was 10 years ago mostly because so much has changed in my life this past year, more than ever before.

Since last year’s Youth Summit I graduated high school where I was valedictorian and I also won a few award; Excelling Student Award as well as an Involved Community Citizen Award. This was such an amazing accomplishment for me, and there is no doubt that it was definitely influenced by the Youth Summit!

This year I started Cegep (College) in the Honors Social Science Program where I finished my first semester with academic honours, in the top 10% of my program. Currently in my second semester, I’ve embarked on a wonderful opportunity; I’m studying this semester in Gaspé about a 14 hour drive from where I live! The way of life here is so different from what I am used to, and I am learning new things every day. Thinking about all of this now, I have come to realize how much I have evolved in this past year, and since the summit… it feels wonderful to look back on.

When I think back on my year since the Youth Summit, I truly believe that the Summit thought me many things, and helped me make many decisions but more than anything, during the summit I felt inspired. I still feel so grateful for the days that I spend in Ottawa as it helped shaped the future that I am currently living.

While at the Youth Summit, I started writing my valedictorian speech, I had so many ideas that were filled with so much inspiration that I wrote it down right there and then and I truly believe that the summit added a great element to my speech. When I came back from the Youth Summit, I was super inspired to not only be the absolute best mentor that I could possibly be but to also take being a mentor seriously; that I’ve committed to something for life and if you ask me, that’s pretty amazing.

Every day I still feel the impact of my experience at the Summit and I’m so grateful to have had the experience. After leaving, I remember feeling tired, but so energized; I felt ready to conquer anything that came my way. The best memories I have come from feeling so close to all the people I met, in such a short period of time.

Me to We did a fantastic job of ensuring a concrete group dynamic and allowing us to feel comfortable and enjoy each other's company no matter what. I am grateful that there was a mixture of Littles and Bigs (teen mentors), because I believe we all learned from each other and there was a diversity of ideas and opinions.

I can't express enough how wonderful my experience was. Whatever you did last year, I say do it all again for years to come! Thank you to Big Brothers Big Sisters and Me to We for such incredible memories.

Teneille A.
Social Innovator
Youth Summit 2014

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