Whew! Exams are finally  over! Personally, I actually like exam periods because as long as I study for them beforehand, I have a ton of free time during exam week to work on projects that I otherwise wouldn’t of been able to do.  Last semester, I did the filming and editing of a music video I created to promote cultural preservation in Nova Scotia. This was the video that sent me to Montreal (and now Ottawa!!) for the Experiences Canada 150&Me program. Going to forums, meeting new people, and discussing the future of our beautiful country in the multicultural city of Montreal is what empowered me to create change by giving youth in my community the same type inspiration to keep a more global, goal-oriented, and problem-solving mindset.

At Truro Elementary School, teachers cultivate something called a “growth mindset” in the classrooms. This perspective helps children overcome their problems and obstacles and view them as opportunities for change. Because of that reason, I thought that this local school would be the perfect place to go and promote my platform and my core message!

Over the course of the week, I gave 45 min long workshops and presentations to grade four and five classes. I helped them recognize their passions, goals, and obstacles preventing them from reaching their full potential. I also led a vision board making craft to get all those wonderful ideas and thoughts down on paper. We also discussed what they can do to start living their own desired lives, (thought is first, then comes action!), and I talked a bit about youth who are already making a difference, and how THEY can do it too, no matter their age.  I feel like it is an important message for younger children to hear, especially as many of these kids are progressing into junior high school next year. It is a busy exciting time in their lives, and I wanted to help guide them through it and teach them that everything IS truly possible!!

My passion for youth empowerment is what led me to create my own group with two other of my friends who have kindly agreed to help. There isn’t anything like it in my community yet, and I want to be a role model and mentor for those who do not have one. I have decided to name the group Maritime Futuremakers, as you can SHAPE your own path, your own future. I am not saying this to pressure, I am saying this to inspire. There are so many opportunities available to youth and it is important that we take advantage of them so we can learn and grow.

I plan to run this group in the summer and all throughout my remaining two years of high school. I will aim to empower local youth by the means of activities such as vision board making, school orientation sessions for incoming students, one-on-one peer mentoring, yoga and meditation workshops, and much more! I am super excited to get this started and I feel like it is a great way to promote my platform to youth in the community!

I will be catching a plane to Ottawa in less than two hours, where I will be discussing the past, present and future of Canada with government leaders and 150 other youth chosen to attend the nation’s capital for Canada Day for Experiences Canada 150&Me program. I know that when I get back, I will have a whole new set of ideas to bring back to my home province Nova Scotia, and to my new empowerment group! Experiences Canada has really changed my perspective on life and the world and grateful for all the wonderful opportunities available to me because of it!

 

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

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