Check out this new 30 second video created entirely by volunteers, and from the energy of young people. It’s message: Stand up, Talk Hard, Be Heard. That’s the theme of this year’s Youth Parliament now in is 25th year, and it’s an apt tag line for the young people behind the scenes who are making sure this year’s event helps showcase the best our young people have to offer.
One of the most pleasurable aspects of my job is that I get to work and interact with lots of young people, both in my direct team and across the wider YMCA. With so much negativity in the traditional media about young people, it’s nice to know there’s a different reality. I can vouch for it: the young people I know are all ace.
In my private life, I see how wonderful are the young teachers at my children’s primary school and also swim centre: eager to learn and benefit, receptive to feedback and accepting of difference. My 8 year old son Zac, who has Asperger’s Syndrome – on the autistic spectrum – is also benefiting enormously from the support of a 14 year old assistant in his first attempts at group gymnastics at the local not-for-profit community gymnastics club. Each week lovely young girls hold out their hands to Zac and coax him from the edges of the class into the centre. Anyone who has a child with a disability will understand how fantastic it is to be finally watching him joining in, enjoying himself, and being part of a group.
Community groups like this local gymnastics club, and programs like Youth Parliament give our young people a chance to shine, to develop and to have a real impact on the future of their community. Over the past five years I have witnessed the remarkable growth in many of the young volunteers who helped bring this video together. Please share it with your networks to ensure that any young people you know between 16 and 25 increase both their chance to shine, and the community’s, too.
For more info visit http://www.victoria.ymca.org.au/youthparliament.