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Reflections on the 6 Degrees-Toronto Pearson Youth Cohort experience

It all started with the annual 6 Degrees Citizen Space, where we were invited to attend the Leadership Lunch that was part of 6 Degrees Citizen Space at the Art Gallery of Ontario on September 25, 2017. This is the first time I attended any largescale talk and it included the prime minister’s wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, speaking on important issues like youth unemployment and youth empowerment. I learned a lot and met my fellow 6 Degrees-Toronto Pearson Youth Cohort members that day.

The next day, I attended the live streaming of Walls at the Albion Library in Toronto and watched esteemed 6 Degrees speakers talk about invisible barriers, forces of disruption and social change. During the memorable post-event discussion, I spoke about how love and communication can create a conversation of peace and understanding between countries.

In preparation for 360: Propelling Youth Employment in the GTA, I interviewed Mounir Nasri, a young settlement consultant on the MENA region, and was astonished to learn about his difficult struggles during his early days as an immigrant in Canada, and how he overcame challenges to be a successful Canadian.

Then came the big day – the event day where the youth cohort came together to bring our questions to the guests and panelists at our own 360 event held on December 13. I was very fascinated to hear and observe how the panelists engaged the discussion of their struggles and also how all of them had their own viewpoints on what the core issues were around youth unemployment.

In the end, the 6 Degrees organizers brought our ideas as cohort members to the table, and having us engaged in this conversation was something I’ll take away from this event.

My only disappointment was wanting more time to ask questions of the panelists.

I hope to get more opportunities to attend conversations about other important issues at future Youth Cohort events.