Youth Leadership

Mes six premiers mois dans le Conseil jeunesse du premier ministre

Lors de l’élection fédérale de 2015, l’une des promesses de campagne du premier ministre actuel était de créer un groupe consultatif des jeunes qui servirait à entendre et à mobiliser les jeunes sur des questions comme la santé mentale, l’environnement, l’emploi, la croissance verte et l’agriculture. L’automne dernier, après l’élection du premier ministre Justin Trudeau, celui‑ci a mis sur pied le Conseil jeunesse du premier ministre, et j’ai eu l’honneur d’être choisi parmi un groupe de 14 000 candidats pour être l’un des quinze jeunes membres à faire partie du Conseil! Ci‑après se trouve une réflexion sur mes six premiers mois à occuper ce rôle stimulant en tant que jeune canadien et membre des 4‑H du Canada. 

Aussitôt que j’ai officiellement été invité à faire partie du Conseil jeunesse du premier ministre, j’ai pris l’avion pour Ottawa où j’ai eu l’occasion unique d’apprendre auprès de dirigeants du gouvernement comme la ministre de l’Environnement et du Changement climatique, la ministre de la Condition féminine, le ministre des Ressources naturelles, le ministre de la Défense nationale, la chef du Centre de la sécurité des télécommunications et des spécialistes de l’emploi au sujet des défis et des possibilités que présente leur portefeuille. Avec mes 14 collègues, nous avons identifié les lacunes au niveau de l’engagement des jeunes et avons offert notre point de vue créatif et pratique sur la façon de mobiliser les jeunes. Nous avons ensuite participé à des événements comme la conférence One Young World, nous avons regardé des débats en direct au sujet des affaires canadiennes durant la période des questions de la Chambre des communes et nous avons eu l’occasion de parler de l’engagement des jeunes.

L’un des sujets qui a été abordé de façon répétée dans toutes nos conversations avec les représentants du gouvernement était la question concernant la façon de mobiliser les jeunes gens d’aujourd’hui. Nous avons rapidement compris que, peu importe la question, peu importe la discussion, la seule façon de réaliser des progrès significatifs, c’est en mobilisant les gens.

Les 4‑H sont particulièrement bons pour mobiliser les jeunes gens : après tout, les 4‑H appliquent la devise « Apprendre en travaillant ».

Mon rôle principal au sein du Conseil est de présenter aux autres membres du Conseil et aux représentants du gouvernement l’avis des 4‑H et des jeunes du milieu rural. Les 4‑H ont réussi à former de jeunes leaders avec ses millions de membres dans le monde entier et, après ces rencontres, je suis retourné en Colombie‑Britannique avec de nouveaux points de vue pour poursuivre sur cette lancée et encourager l’engagement des jeunes dans ma communauté. En tant que seul représentant de la Colombie‑Britannique, j’ai également discuté avec le doyen du département de génie et le vice-recteur de l’Université de la Colombie‑Britannique au campus Okanagan du rôle que jouent les universités dans la mobilisation des jeunes dans la communauté et dans la préparation des jeunes à des carrières stimulantes.

Comme seul représentant des 4‑H, j’ai eu l’occasion exceptionnelle d’assister à une conférence de formation des animateurs des 4‑H à Kelowna, en Colombie‑Britannique, pour parler du Conseil et des raisons qui me font croire que mon engagement à long terme dans les 4‑H a été l’un des motifs pour lesquels j’ai été choisi pour faire partie du Conseil.

À titre de membre des 4‑H, je fais continuellement la promotion du programme de développement des jeunes des 4‑H. Mon expérience dans les 4‑H m’a aidé à mieux conseiller les députés et les dirigeants du milieu communautaire dans l’ensemble du Canada en vue de favoriser des partenariats authentiques avec les jeunes d’aujourd’hui et d’améliorer l’engagement des jeunes. 

En début d’année, nous avons accueilli 11 nouveaux membres dans le Conseil, et peu de temps après, nous avons eu l’occasion d’avoir une rencontre individuelle avec le premier ministre pour discuter des façons de réagir aux problèmes qui touchent les jeunes Canadiens. Je suis incroyablement privilégié d’avoir la chance de travailler avec un groupe aussi formidable de jeunes Canadiens. L’occasion que j’ai eue de rencontrer notre premier ministre Justin Trudeau ainsi que le secrétaire parlementaire du premier ministre, M. Peter Schiefke, et de travailler avec eux a été un immense honneur, et je dois tout cela à mon expérience avec les 4‑H.

Je suis reconnaissant envers le programme des 4‑H, qui m’a aidé à devenir un leader et à acquérir les compétences dont j’ai besoin pour faire une différence. Un jour, lorsque j’aurai terminé mes études, j’espère devenir un animateur des 4‑H pour contribuer à donner à quelqu’un d’autre une merveilleuse expérience dans les 4‑H. Aussi incroyable que soit ma chance de faire partie du Conseil, je me sens tout aussi chanceux d’avoir été, et de toujours être, un membre des 4‑H.

Si j’avais un conseil à donner aux membres des 4‑H qui aimeraient s’engager davantage ou jouer un rôle de leadership, ce serait de ne pas avoir peur de prendre des risques et de ne jamais se sous-estimer. À tous les membres des 4‑H qui aimeraient faire partie du Conseil jeunesse du premier ministre, continuez de surveiller les occasions de postuler. De plus, les membres du Conseil et moi‑même sommes toujours à la recherche de moyens de nous mobiliser. Nous sommes engagés à écouter les voix des jeunes Canadiens et serions ravis si vous communiquiez avec nous pour nous présenter vos idées ou les événements se déroulant dans vos communautés.

Le Conseil jeunesse du premier ministre possède une page Facebook que nous utilisons pour annoncer des nouvelles, nos événements et nos activités, alors n’hésitez pas à nous suivre et à participer. Je suis impatient d’entendre les membres 4‑H de tout le Canada et de travailler avec eux. 

My First Six Months on the Prime Minister’s Youth Council

During the 2015 federal election, one of the Prime Minister’s campaign promises was to initiate a youth advisory group to listen and engage youth in areas like mental health, environment, employment, clean growth and agriculture. Last fall, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected, he created the Prime Minister’s Youth Council and out of a pool of 14,000 applicants, I was honoured to be one of 15 youth members selected to join! Below is a reflection of my first six months in this exciting role as a Canadian youth and as a 4-H Canada member. 

As soon as I was officially invited to join the Prime Minister’s Youth Council I flew to Ottawa and had the unique opportunity to learn from government leaders like the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Minister for the Status of Women, the Minister of Natural Resources, the Minister of National Defence, the Chief of the Communications Security Establishment and experts on employment about challenges and opportunities within their portfolios. Together with my fourteen peers, we identified youth engagement gaps and gave our creative and practical input for getting youth involved. We then participated in events like the One Young World conference, watched live debates on Canadian affairs during Question Period in the House of Commons and had opportunities to speak on youth engagement.

One of the topics that repeatedly came up in all of our conversations with government officials was the question of how to get the young people of today involved. What we quickly realized was that no matter the issue, no matter the discussion, the only way to make significant progress is to get people involved.

4-H is exceptionally good at getting young people involved; after all, 4-H follows the Learn To Do By Doing motto.

My biggest role on the council is to provide the other council members and government officials the 4-H perspective and that of rural youth. 4-H has been successful at developing young leaders with millions of members’ worldwide and after these meetings; I brought back to British Columbia some new perspectives to continue the momentum of driving youth engagement in my community. As the only representative from British Columbia, I also discussed the role universities play in engaging youth in the community and in preparing youth for meaningful careers in Canada in meetings with the Dean of the Engineering Department and the Deputy-Vice Chancellor of University of British Colmbia Okanagan.

As the only 4-H representative, I had the unique opportunity to attend a 4-H leaders training conference in Kelowna, British Columbia, to talk about the Council and why I believe my long-term involvement in 4-H was one of the reasons I was selected to join.

As a 4-H’er, I am always promoting the 4-H youth development program. My experience with 4-H has helped me better counsel Members of Parliament and community leaders across Canada to foster authentic partnerships with today’s youth and increase youth involvement.

 

Into the new year, we recently welcomed 11 new members to the Council and shortly after, we had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the Prime Minister to discuss ways to respond to issues Canadian youth face.  I am exceptionally privileged to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of young Canadians. Getting the opportunity to meet and work with our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Peter Schiefke, has been a tremendous honour and I owe that to my experience with 4-H.

I am thankful to the 4-H program for helping me on my path to becoming a leader and for helping to give me the skills I need to make a difference. I hope to one day, when I am done my schooling, become a 4-H leader so that I can help give someone else an amazing 4-H experience. As amazing as my opportunity is to serve on the Council, I feel equally as fortunate to have been, and to still be, involved with 4-H.

My advice for members of 4-H who want to get more involved or want to take on a leadership role, is to not be afraid to take risks and to never sell yourself short. For any member of 4-H wanting to get involved with the Prime Minister’s Youth Council, keep looking for the opportunity to apply. Also, the members of the Council, including myself, are always looking for ways to become involved. We are committed to listening to the voices of young Canadians and would love if you reached out to us with any ideas you have or any events that are happening within your community.

The Prime Minister’s Youth Council has a Facebook page that we use to provide updates and our events and activities, so please follow and get engaged. I look forward to hearing and working with 4-H’ers from throughout Canada. 

Meet the 4-H Youth Who L.E.A.D. the Way

On November 4, 2016, 4-H Canada and CN, were pleased to announce the 2016 4-H Canada Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction (L.E.A.D.) recipients, four exceptional senior youth members from across Canada who exemplify leadership excellence and academic achievement. Below is their reflection on being selected for these prestigious and highly sought-after scholarships as well as remarks from their L.E.A.D. mentors.

Community Engagement & Communications L.E.A.D. Recipient - Joshua Power (NL)

Which of the Leadership Development Pillars are you a L.E.A.D. scholarship recipient for and what makes you passionate about this area?
I feel so passionate about this pillar because building strong communities is an absolute necessity. Communities are important for fostering positive development and helping us reach our full potential. There are far too many issues in this world that tear communities apart but we are capable of accepting each other's differences and coming together as one. Through education, engagement, and awareness, we will grow stronger and I want to be a part of that growth. 

Tell us how you felt when you heard you had been selected as a Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction recipient?
When I got the call from Shannon, I could hardly breathe. I was at a total loss for words because the news really took me by surprise. I just wanted to cry with happiness. I was so excited to tell my mom and my 4-H leaders, because without them, I would have never been capable of receiving this award. 

What advice would you have for anyone who is thinking about applying for this scholarship?
Believe in yourself - I almost didn’t apply because I truly did not believe I could ever achieve something like this. Whether you realize it or not, there are so many things that you do that make you an outstanding leader!

Science & Technology L.E.A.D. Recipient - Erinn Jones (AB)

Which of the Leadership Development Pillars are you a L.E.A.D. scholarship recipient for and what makes you passionate about this area?
I am passionate about solving the world’s challenges in an innovative, logical and hands-on manner. The design and building of projects has always interested me and my participating in the Building Futures program at my high school was a key project that delved my interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Through this program, I helped construct two homes, from the ground up, while being actively involved in each step along the way.

Leading others in projects related to Science & Technology has always been a goal of mine. I hope, through my educational pursuits and career aspirations, to encourage other young women to become involved in STEM disciplines and challenge historic norms in industries primarily dominated by men.

Tell us how you felt when you heard you had been selected as a Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction recipient?
I was completely speechless - it was hard to believe that among the many other applicants I was noticed for my contributions to 4-H, my passion for STEM and leadership in this area. It took me a few days to digest the news, as it felt surreal. I feel extremely honoured and privileged to receive this award. I am proud of my accomplishments and am most appreciative to all the people that encouraged my success thus far: my 4-H leaders, teachers, coaches, mentors, family and friends.

 

Environment & Healthy Living L.E.A.D. Recipient - Eveline Juce (MB)

Which of the Leadership Development Pillars are you a L.E.A.D. scholarship recipient for and what makes you passionate about this area? I have a strong passion for leading an active lifestyle and I am a member of the Biathlon, Nordic and Cross Country Running team at the University of Alberta, Augustana campus. Practicing a healthy lifestyle like daily exercise and a balanced nutritional diet is beneficial to each of us in so many ways. But not only do we need to take care of our bodies, I also believe in taking care of our planet to the same extent. Developing and maintaining more sustainable ways of living are so important for the future growth of our society.

Tell us how you felt when you heard you had been selected as a Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction recipient?
I was absolutely over the moon happy when I had found out I had been one of the recipients! 4-H Canada’s CEO, Shannon Benner, gave me a personal call while I was working at my summer job and I was speechless as soon as she told me. The funny part was that my co-worker knew what had happened as she had listened to me talk about this award all summer.

 

 

Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security L.E.A.D. Recipient - Jessica Mayes (MB)

Which of the Leadership Development Pillars are you a L.E.A.D. scholarship recipient for and what makes you passionate about this area?
I grew up in a small town and farm in Manitoba with the agriculture industry as our economic backbone. During the summer, I work as a research associate for a government agriculture research and diversification organization and this area of agriculture really inspires me. I believe that research and innovation is key to obtaining a food secure future and I can’t wait to help tackle these global issues.

Tell us how you felt when you heard you had been selected as a Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction recipient?
When I first learned that I was an award recipient I was in disbelief. This is such an incredible opportunity and it was so amazing to be chosen from other incredible and qualified 4-H members from across Canada. For a while after I received the news, I kept thinking that it was almost too good to be true. I’m very excited and honoured to be one of the recipients of this award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4-H Builds Opportunities for Youth

The following is a speech written by YAC member and one of our 2015 Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction recipients, Cameron Choquette who had the opportunity to be speak as part of the “Connecting Youth to Agriculture” Youth Panel at the Canadian Agriculture Human Resource Council, Growing the AgriWorkforce Summit in March of this year. Below is a copy of his speech.


Passionate, engaged, interested and confident. These words describe 4-H’ers.

I am currently in my first year at the University of Saskatchewan working towards a degree in commerce. Upon completion of my undergraduate degree, I aspire to represent the interests and needs of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector and Canadian rural communities at the executive level of a national organization.

So where did this passion for agriculture and community engagement come from?

Well, I grew up on a farm and I’m involved with 4-H.

4-H’s caring adult leaders, who I have been fortunate enough to have as mentors throughout my years, taught me the values that have helped me become the leader I am today.

I have experienced an incredible amount of life-shaping opportunities through 4-H that are unique and incomparable to other organizations.

I have traveled across Canada, taken part in national programs where I have networked with my peers and industry leaders and I have received a number of scholarships.

One of these scholarships, in particular, is the 4-H Canada Leadership Excellence Award of Distinction, also known as L.E.A.D.

Thanks to our partnership with the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) for the L.E.A.D. scholarships, I was one of four youth members to receive the first-ever L.E.A.D. scholarship representing the Community Engagement & Communications Leadership Development Pillar. I was awarded a $20,000 scholarship over four years and an amazing mentorship opportunity.

I'm proud to say that my mentor is Andrew Scheer, Member of Parliament for Regina-Qu'Appelle. Mr. Scheer was the previous Speaker in the House of Commons and is now a member of the Official Opposition in the House.

Partnerships, mentorships and experiential learning opportunities are what 4-H provides to our members and leaders. Through these opportunities, 4-H’ers build the skills they need to become strong leaders in our community.

I am a living example of how 4-H changes the lives of youth. I haven’t always been this outgoing and confident. 

I attended my very first national 4-H opportunity in November of 2013 and I was scared out of my wits. They expected a small town kid to engage with 60 other teenagers, most of whom were extremely pretty girls.

I did my best but kept to myself most of the time, afraid of what others might think of me. I could describe myself in three words: shy, reserved and afraid.

By the time I went to the 2014 4-H Canada Citizenship Seminar in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, my life was changed. I went from being shy, reserved and afraid to outgoing, happy and confident.

The experiences 4-H offered me helped push me past my comfort zone and grow as a young person - 4-H changed my life.

I’ve heard a lot of questions today about the new skills that are needed to address the labour gap and the technological advances of the agriculture sector. The great news is that those same skills, in combination with the traditional agriculture skills, are what 4-H youth are interested in. These are the areas where they want to grow and make an impact, where they have valuable insights to share and innovations to create.

There are 4-H clubs and projects that now focus on rocketry, geocaching, small parts machinery and even robotics.

4-H is engaging youth at all levels, offering opportunities to explore the skill and knowledge that is relevant to them. 4-H helps young people grow as leaders in their communities, across Canada and around the world. Coming out of this conference, I hope everyone in this room, and the agriculture industry at large, will not only see the challenges we face but more importantly, envision the  opportunities we have to empower our youth and redefine what it means to work in agriculture.

So talk to the young people in your communities and find ways to share your knowledge of the industry and the great careers and lifestyle opportunities that are available.

Invite youth to your conferences as observers or as speakers and involve them in policy and programming: it can provide a learning opportunity for everyone in the room.

Most importantly, when you talk about the future of agriculture, make sure you bring that authentic youth voice to the table. After all, we are the future.

Thank you. 

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