Unveiling Youth Potential (UYP) is a youth empowerment program aimed at realizing the potential of youth by supporting their leadership roles in building strong, resilient communities. This program was developed out of our beliefs that positive social change is necessary for the world to progress in a way that is healthy and vibrant; and that youth represent the group that offers the greatest hope for this change as they go beyond societal, cultural, governmental and institutional barriers to enliven the wisdom of communities around the world. Furthermore, we see every day that youth are passionate and energetic about social change . . . in fact, their future may rely on how well they are able to learn from the older generations mistakes and become wise beyond their years.
Canada Bridges aims to empower youth to be agents of change by supporting the development of capacities necessary to respond to the conditions of their environment and meet situational challenges. Through the UYP program, Canada Bridges supports empowerment by inviting youth participants to reflect on themselves and their communities – and the connectedness between the two – and then take action by responding to community needs or priorities. This process sustains the practice of praxis, develops critical consciousness and social competency to unveil, build, and sustain youth potential and capacity. Youth become agents of change as they start to take action, engaging within their communities whether by just simply being kind to others, being a better neighbour, daughter, son, mother, father, sibling or by initiating a social change project. Developing the capacity to engage with life’s challenges and subsequently take action are crucial pieces of learning, and Canada Bridges believes that every youth has this potential: to lead and/or support social change.
Through this approach, the building of individual empowerment will result in the realization of healthy and vibrant communities.