Developmental Relationships Framework in Action with Youth in North Oakville
By Siobhan Laverdiere, Our Kids Network, North Oakville Youth Project Coordinator
On March 3, the North Oakville Youth Development Council (YDC) hosted their very first event and Youth Talks: Hear Us Out was a resounding success! Youth in North Oakville and beyond shared their thoughts and opinions about topics that were important to them; and took the opportunity to connect and build relationships with adults in the community. The event was produced by the Youth Development Council, and supported by the YDC valued adult allies and Our Kids Network.
Over 75 adults, youth and children attended – and the adult attendees were definitely engaged in hearing what youth had to say:
“The community of Oakville is a better place with the leadership of the youth I heard tonight.”
“Very interesting, diverse and meaningful presentation/event.”
“Great that you were able to bring youth and adults together.”
Adults in the audience took the opportunity to ask questions directly of youth which opened up communication; applauded their presentations; and made sure to record the event.
Some of the most meaningful feedback on the event came from the youth who planned and participated in the event. Their comments are reflective of the Developmental Relationships framework which centres on surrounding young people with relationships that can help them develop strengths such as positive identity and commitment to their community. These relationships include those with family, schools, community programs and neighbourhoods.
There are five key categories:
1. Expressing Care towards youth
2. Challenging growth in youth
3. Providing youth with support
4. Sharing power with youth
5. Expanding possibilities for youth
What did youth have to say about how planning and participating in the event made them feel?
Did you feel cared about to some degree while participating in this event?
YDC members who produced the event said that the adult allies were very supportive of them during the planning process. The adults in the audience were also very encouraging by engaging in the conversations. They also expressed that they appreciated what youth had to say.
Youth speakers said
“I felt that my opinion was quite valued and that they (adults) understood many of the concepts brought up in my speech/ the event.”
“While participating in this event I felt valued because for around 8 minutes I had the stage. It was my turn to speak and I could share my opinions about world issues and what I thought with the community.”
Left: Giovanna Gerada, a Grade 9 student, gave a tutorial to the audience about how to draw. Centre: Talia Nicholls provided adults with information about the benefits of social media. Talia is in Grade 8. Right: Teresa Baricevic, talked to adults about life as a youth in 2018. Teresa is a Grade 9 student. Continue reading