I first got involved with Canada Bridges in 2014, when I shared my story at A Youth Explosion - a yearly event that celebrates youth storytelling and wisdom. Before then, I didn’t feel like I had a voice and I didn’t think my story was something to be heard. I was really struggling with feeling worth, but A Youth Explosion felt like my launch pad.
After I presented, people wanted to talk to me, letting me know that they dealt with similar challenges, and it helped me recognize the importance of my experiences. I discovered the power of stories, and it has become a passion to encourage other youth to be vulnerable, share their unique wisdoms and pursue community. A Youth Explosion creates space for those things and so much more.
Last Saturday, our Youth Planning Committee produced the 9th Annual A Youth Explosion, held at Telus Spark. We had youth singers, dancers, drummers, musicians, rappers and artists, both traditional and non-traditional, sharing their stories to a standing ovation at the end. The audience said that the event was “authentic, heartfelt and impactful" and that they were leaving with more awareness and hope for the future. We heard from youth in the audience that they saw their own strengths and potential in a new light and want to explore their stories and wisdom in the future too.
This is the first year A Youth Explosion has had a full-time coordinator and it has been a huge honour and an amazing journey for me. This opportunity for youth leadership is another way I know my voice matters. Being able to organize from a place of personal experience has been unique and very fulfilling. Next year is our 10th annual A Youth Explosion! It’s an event that I want to see endure as it continues building up young leaders, bringing awareness to community and creating change.
We have an amazing opportunity – a group of anonymous donors has committed up to $10,000 in matching contributions for any donation made to Canada Bridges before the end of 2019. That means for every $1 you contribute, Canada Bridges will receive $2 to continue supporting youth to show up, stand up and be heard!
Please support our work with youth by making a tax deductible donation today - help us keep going and growing towards unveiled youth potential!
A Youth Explosion Coordinator