A Night with the Jamaican Canadian Youth Council

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BY KEVIN YEBOAH

“United we stand and divided we fall! Try? There is no try, everything is a must and we’ll do just that.” These were two out of a plethora of mantras that were the basis of all modes of thinking at the recent monthly Jamaican Canadian Youth Council or JCYC meeting hosted on Nov 19th. I had the luxury and fortune to be amid many driven and empowered Jamaicans collectively aiming for the same interests. A deep commonality based on the progression of Jamaican youth educationally, mentally, spiritually and financially by way of organization.

A key point discussed at the meeting was how to get the community involved in hopes to actualize the ideas on bettering youth. “How do we get these kids off the streets? Far too often do I see these kids on the streets when they should be in school…? Doing absolutely nothing. It is disheartening to see.” Said Melissa, a social worker and senior member of the JCYC. Melissa came to the conclusion that one of the ways to tackle this issue is to get these kids involved into the platforms already presented to them like school, the work force, community projects and meetings, but how exactly? Which ties into the guest speaker’s topic of the night.

“Networking is key. Sometimes it isn’t about what you can do entirely, but who you know and what they can do for you.” Warren Clark, a graduate from Guelph University’s social anthropology program and teacher, as well as a member and contributor to the Canadian Anthropology Society. Warren was the guest speaker and had many prolific ideas and realities of how to get youth involved in building a career and chain of network early. The benefits of networking is simply learning how to talk to people you may come across at any given time, knowing how to “speak to the occasion” as Warren would put it.

The night boiled down as all the members, invitees and walk-ins curious to get in the know, had a further meet and greet solidifying some of the relationships built during the meeting. “Let’s try and make an effort to make this a constant anomaly, bringing our ideas to light and making them into a reality for the community.” One of the last remarks made during the night, a resounding and prolific sentiment to close off. The JCYC plans to host monthly meetings and can be reached by the public by email at jcyc.ontario@gmail.com.

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