Summer Leadership Camp
Every year YD runs a Summer Leadership Camp where youth have an opportunity to get out of the city for 4 days to discuss issues that are important to them, gain leadership skills and create lasting friendships. Our camps include guest speakers, group discussions, presentations, outdoor activities (i.e. cannoning, swimming, hikes), group competitions and sports.
The 2012 6th Annual YD camp was Discovery, discovery of self, purpose and goals. YD camp challenged youth to get out of thier comfort zone and try new things. Things such as canoeing across a lake with new friends and gaining the confidence to perform at the camp talent show. Another aspect of camp that helped assist this discovery was the open and accepting environment that YD camp provided. YD leaders encourages youth to truly be who they wanted to be. (- Rebecca Hagos, 15, YD Youth)
The 2011 5th Annual YD Summer Camp Connections: Bridging the Gap was such a successful event attended by more than 50 youth and young leaders. The event was held at the Bark Lake Leadership Camp.
The theme for 2010 is “Choices”. Sometimes as youth it is easy to think that we have little power over what we do or where we are heading in life. Our goal this year at camp is to challenge this and to help you realize that your life is full of choices. Where are you at now? What choices have you made to get you here – good or bad? What choices do you wish you had? What resources do you have available to you? These are all questions we will explore together at camp.
The 2009 edition of our camp was themed Success and youth were encouraged to examine and reconsider their definitions of success and personal development. We were excited to share the stage with youth facilitators from Sound the Horn productions as well as Emerge Young Leaders Program.
In 2008 we hosted another successful camp, which focused on Identity. The youth were challenged to think critically about who they are and how they can make their mark on society. With the help of skits produced by their peers, inspirational guest speakers and thoughtful discussions, the youth engaged with issues related to gender, racial, and cultural identity.
In 2007 YD held its first summer leadership camp themed What’s Your Passion? It was highly successful and challenged the youth to follow their passions, become leaders and build successful careers and lives.
Our mentorship program is the foundation of our work. We piloted the mentorship program in 2006 as one of our first responses to the recognition that youth lacked visible role models in their community. Youth needed to see, meet, and be supported by positive people that looked like them and understood their unique challenges and contexts. Since then, older youth and adult allies have stepped up and offered tremendous leadership and support to high school-aged youth through three main avenues:
- Academic Mentorship
Weekly tutoring services are offered free of charge for high school students in the Ethiopian-Eritrean community. The tutoring sessions take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Toronto Reference Library (Yonge and Bloor). Please note that you must pre-arrange for a tutor by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Social Mentorship
Through summer activities and year-round events we create opportunities for youth to build meaningful personal relationships with positive older youth and peers.
Apart from our Summer Leadership Camp, past social mentorship events have included movie nights, beach barbeques, bowling, skating and arts festivals.
- Career Mentorship
Youth in our programs have access to a database of community professionals who are available as an informational resource and to help youth gain practical career information and guidance. Please email email@example.com to arrange a meeting with a career mentor.
We also have an annual Meet and Greet event for youth to network and get to know professionals in our community, and for professionals to benefit from meeting such dynamic youth.