Seen, Heard, Valued

As the new AYE coordinator for Bridges, I am excited to share with you our 2019 theme – Seen, Heard, Valued. Make sure you mark November 16th in your calendars as you don’t want to miss this inspiring event. A Youth Explosion is a youth storytelling event that fully encompasses our vision for youth to show up, stand up and be heard. This is an opportunity for us youth to share our wisdom and stories in the many creative ways of artistic expression. This event isn’t just for ourselves, but also so our partners, families and supportive community members can celebrate and learn new wisdoms through us. AYE is a rare space where we can safely be heard and recognized for our hard work and resilience.  

As a youth who has performed in the past, coordinating such a life changing event is an incredible honour. With a youth planning committee, I hope to bring this year’s event to new levels of creativity, awareness and empowerment. It was really important to me this year to have a youth planning committee so that the event was youth-led. As youth, we have a better understanding of our peers.  

Something new happening this year: we are planning regular storytelling hangouts in the months leading up to the event where we explore different ways to share our story through a variety of different mediums. These hangouts are a way to learn new ways of expression, prepare on how to deliver your story or just come to meet new people and share a laugh, snacks and of course your story! We'll share updates about the hangouts on our Facebook and Instagram so stay tuned!  

There are many ways to get involved this year, such as volunteering at the event, attending our storytelling hangouts or even performing at AYE 2019! We also need support to make this life changing event happen. If you would like to donate or want more info or to partner with us please email me at or donate at the link on the bottom of the newsletter.

Performing at AYE changed my life, I was able to step out and be bold, and from there I was able to take hold of more opportunities as I had this new confidence. Amazing how it’s circled to now coordinating the event that empowered and grew me into the woman I am today. I would like to share the quote I shared when I spoke at AYE which perfectly encompasses my story:  

“Our lives are a collection of stories. Truths about who we are, what we believe, what we came from, how we struggle and how we are strong. When we can let go of what people think, and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness- the feeling that we are enough just as we are, and that we are worthy of love and belonging.”  — Dr. Brene Brown