Youth Engagement Strategy

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The Town has been working with youth to create a Youth Engagement Strategy since November of 2019. This strategy will provide the community (us included!) with a roadmap of how we can make Innisfil a more inclusive and attractive place for young people to live and grow.

What Have We Been Up To?

Since November of 2019, the Town has hosted a series of in-person and virtual workshops (with youth and led by youth), organized peer-to-peer interviews, made surveys available on this page, and designed small online and physical pop-up engagement activities (e.g. view the youth video on the right side of this page!). We are now in the process of reviewing everything we heard, and incorporating it into a living document. That doesn't mean that your feedback is irrelevant or will not be considered. We know that we did not reach everyone and that future engagement will be required to make the Youth Engagement Strategy meaningful and relevant.

Sneak Peek: What Have We Heard So Far?

The Youth Engagement Strategy is to be complete by December 2020, however, we want to share a few things that we've heard so far. Perhaps you can relate or perhaps this information will inform your work as a local professional working with this age group:

Top Issues Youth Care About

  • Places where they belong (e.g. Youth feel unwelcome in most community spaces and are often accused of loitering).
  • Ways to get safely around Town (e.g. Youth do not want to rely on their parents to get where they need to go. They want cheap, safe, and convenient options for transit).
  • The environment (e.g. Youth care about green spaces and the way that Innisfil expands).
  • Health and wellness (e.g. Youth care about their mental health and well-being and enjoy outdoor activities).
  • The future (e.g. Youth often think about their futures - it can be stressful but also exciting to set goals).

Barriers To Youth Engagement

  • Lack of youth-led programs and events (e.g. Youth are more likely to come to events if they run them).
  • Promotion and communication (e.g. We're "just not getting to them").
  • Poor timing for engagement (e.g. Who wants to attend a program right after a long day of school and extracurricular commitments?).
  • Trust and consistency (e.g. Do you really want to hear from us? Show us what you're doing with our feedback).
  • Reaching at-risk youth (e.g. Leadership classes are the easiest way to reach a large group of youth, but they don't represent everyone).
  • Transportation (e.g. It's hard to get around without your own vehicle).
  • Parents (e.g. Youth aren't allowed to just "be").
  • Scheduling and timing conflicts (Being a teen is busy... with school, work, extracurriculars, and a social life - it's hard to do it all).
  • Local and/or global events (e.g. COVID-19).

How Will We Continue To Collect Feedback?

The Town will continue to visit youth in the spaces where they are most comfortable, and while that may be virtually for quite some time, we will do our best to accommodate new voices and participate in new opportunities as they arise. Feedback can be submitted to Jenn at jmurley@Innisfilidealab.ca or Michelle at mlopes@innisfil.ca. You can also submit ideas below using the "Your Ideas" tool. No idea is too big or too small.

Spread the word by directing our young residents to this page!

The Town has been working with youth to create a Youth Engagement Strategy since November of 2019. This strategy will provide the community (us included!) with a roadmap of how we can make Innisfil a more inclusive and attractive place for young people to live and grow.

What Have We Been Up To?

Since November of 2019, the Town has hosted a series of in-person and virtual workshops (with youth and led by youth), organized peer-to-peer interviews, made surveys available on this page, and designed small online and physical pop-up engagement activities (e.g. view the youth video on the right side of this page!). We are now in the process of reviewing everything we heard, and incorporating it into a living document. That doesn't mean that your feedback is irrelevant or will not be considered. We know that we did not reach everyone and that future engagement will be required to make the Youth Engagement Strategy meaningful and relevant.

Sneak Peek: What Have We Heard So Far?

The Youth Engagement Strategy is to be complete by December 2020, however, we want to share a few things that we've heard so far. Perhaps you can relate or perhaps this information will inform your work as a local professional working with this age group:

Top Issues Youth Care About

  • Places where they belong (e.g. Youth feel unwelcome in most community spaces and are often accused of loitering).
  • Ways to get safely around Town (e.g. Youth do not want to rely on their parents to get where they need to go. They want cheap, safe, and convenient options for transit).
  • The environment (e.g. Youth care about green spaces and the way that Innisfil expands).
  • Health and wellness (e.g. Youth care about their mental health and well-being and enjoy outdoor activities).
  • The future (e.g. Youth often think about their futures - it can be stressful but also exciting to set goals).

Barriers To Youth Engagement

  • Lack of youth-led programs and events (e.g. Youth are more likely to come to events if they run them).
  • Promotion and communication (e.g. We're "just not getting to them").
  • Poor timing for engagement (e.g. Who wants to attend a program right after a long day of school and extracurricular commitments?).
  • Trust and consistency (e.g. Do you really want to hear from us? Show us what you're doing with our feedback).
  • Reaching at-risk youth (e.g. Leadership classes are the easiest way to reach a large group of youth, but they don't represent everyone).
  • Transportation (e.g. It's hard to get around without your own vehicle).
  • Parents (e.g. Youth aren't allowed to just "be").
  • Scheduling and timing conflicts (Being a teen is busy... with school, work, extracurriculars, and a social life - it's hard to do it all).
  • Local and/or global events (e.g. COVID-19).

How Will We Continue To Collect Feedback?

The Town will continue to visit youth in the spaces where they are most comfortable, and while that may be virtually for quite some time, we will do our best to accommodate new voices and participate in new opportunities as they arise. Feedback can be submitted to Jenn at jmurley@Innisfilidealab.ca or Michelle at mlopes@innisfil.ca. You can also submit ideas below using the "Your Ideas" tool. No idea is too big or too small.

Spread the word by directing our young residents to this page!

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

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