In 2023, Ever Active Schools launched its Youth Advisory Council (YAC): a group of enthusiastic youth in Alberta and Saskatchewan who provide feedback and personal opinions, engage in discussions around the work of Ever Active Schools, represent the organization at events, and co-develop projects with the staff. Members of the YAC are between the ages of 15-25, serve terms of 1-3 years and are compensated for their contributions.

The Making of the Youth Advisory Council

The Youth Advisory Council began as all exciting things do: as an idea. Our team wanted to understand how best to serve our priority populations: girls and young women, Indigenous youth, youth from low-income families, newcomer youth, and youth experiencing disabilities. How better to learn what our intended recipients need than to consult with them directly? 

“As I went through high school and learned more about the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle through my university courses, the lack of education around exercise and nutrition for teenagers really stood out for me,” writes Yussra, a Youth Advisory Council member. “I joined the Youth Advisory Council and specifically [Ever Active Schools] because I share their goal in trying to make activity more accessible for kids and hopefully helping kids create a more active lifestyle that they can take with them through life.”

What the Youth Advisory Council is Up To

Currently, several members of the Youth Advisory Council are working on an Employer Toolkit to encourage inclusive hiring practices in youth hiring organizations; others are advocating for inclusive and accessible sport opportunities within communities. We also have a YAC member who is supporting an after-school program in a Calgary school, helping organize and supervise physical activities such as volleyball and basketball for junior high students. Primarily, the YAC helps with in-person events, provides feedback on Ever Active Schools project work and supports other tasks as needed. 

“I joined the YAC because I wanted the opportunity to expand and build my communication skills for my future career,” says Jamie. “What I hope to achieve out of this opportunity is building more confidence in being brave to meet new people, and to make new friends.”

As Rowan says, “I joined the Youth Advisory Council because I enjoy helping those who need it and making our world a better place! Everyone has a chance to help so why wouldn’t we?”

Concept by Jamie, Youth Advisory Council member.

Written with input from Youth Advisory Council members Jamie, Yussra and Rowan. Meet the YAC members here!

A Youth Advisory Council member supporting an EAS event. A Youth Advisory Council member.

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