JOB POSTING: Volunteer Research Assistant

JOB POSTING: Volunteer Research Assistant

Let’s Get Together! Is on the lookout for a bright and motivated individual to join our research team for a 3-4 month period. We’re currently completing a research project that seeks to obtain data from youth and community members on their experiences in learning and what they think is needed to achieve student success. You’ll be responsible for facilitating focus group discussions either virtually or in person with youth, parents, educators and community partners, creating a survey for distribution and assist with exploring other methods to collect relevant data. In addition you will be responsible for compiling this information. We’re looking for an individual who is wanting experience, who is interested in youth studies and who is open to sharing their ideas with us.

 

Please send your resume and cover letter by Monday, March 5th, 2018 to kianna@letsgettogether.ca.

Virtual interviews will be conducted shortly after.
We thank you for your interest.

Raptors 905 on Parenting 101

Raptors 905 on Parenting 101

Hershey Centre, Mississauga – As the Raptors 905 players were preparing for their game against Wisconsin, the families of Kaza Kajami-Keane and Aaron Best were sharing their parenting stories with families from across the GTA. Parent Involvement Matters is an event organized by Raptors 905 and Let’s Get Together!, a grassroot non-profit, with the goal of bringing together a community of parents inspired to support their children through physical activity. It was also supported by the Ontario Basketball Association.

When one parent asked how to encourage children to stay humble and support their teammates, Donna Best stressed the importance of family – the theme of the conference.

“I’m always telling Aaron: the family’s eyes are on you,” she said. “We’re close-knit, watching you, making sure you’re staying on the right track and making sure that you’re not getting caught up in the bright lights.” 

Hugh Keane spoke about how introverted children can build relationships through participating in sports. “Kaza is very quiet,” he said. “Once he gets on the court he’s still a little bit non-vocal, but he begins to trust the people that are on his team and that usually becomes his conversational support.”

Elsewhere in the Hershey Centre, children were participating in activities supported by the University of Toronto Mississauga student volunteers – shooting hoops or designing signs in support of Raptors 905.

Ryan, grade 6, was decked out in Raptors 905 merchandise as he created a poster in support of his favourite player – DeMar DeRozan.  With him was Jaiden, who says he would like to ask the Raptors 905 players what they had to sacrifice to become good players. 

Back in the conference, John, the father of two children, asked about the best way to prepare his children for the loss of a familiar community network when they go to university. In his response, Hugh Keane addressed the sacrifices that parents make for their children. “When it’s your child’s dream and your child’s goal,” he told John, “you make the necessary adjustments that you have to – and it’s a wonderful experience for them.”

Donna Best stressed having a safe place for children to share any problems they’ve encountered. “We have to set an example,” she said. “You have to let the kids know what they’re going to be facing.  You have to make it a comfortable environment for them to talk to you.”

The Executive Director of Let’s Get Together!, Alison Canning, finished up the conference with a closing statement about the importance of communities coming together to create good experiences for their children. She stressed that “it starts at home and it starts with us and that’s why we’re here today – to make sure that we have the tools to do the job so we can do it the best we can.

John Wiggins, the Team Operations Director for Raptors 905 stated that “This discussion that Let’s Get Together! is hosting is providing an interactive platform to help the parents learn from each other and share their insights as to how to best manage this responsibility. In most youth clubs that I’ve been a part of or have witnessed, the parents are the backbone of success for the program. Raptors 905 is happy to support this campaign as a way to help foster the future success of our athletes.”

Let’s Get Together!’s goal is to bring together a community of parents and youth who are inspired to support each other and to provide resources and opportunities for their communities.  

Parent Involvement Matters was Let’s Get Together!’s first event – an event that Let’s Get Together! and Raptors 905 should be proud of. Alison Canning expressed her delight at the success of the event and is looking forward to the future.

She said, “This is the start of us; getting together and creating something better and creating a movement and making our world and our communities healthy.”

Moving forward, Let’s Get Together! will be partnering once again with the Raptors 905 team on March 10th for an event discussing a growth mindset. This presentation will provide powerful and inspirational messages from Raptors 905 players Aaron Best, Kaza Keane, Shevon Thompson and Kennedy Meeks on how they have developed resiliency and focus.

Visit our website at communitylearninghub.org for more information.
We hope to see your family there!

PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

Photos/videos courtesy of Laura MakEdge Imaging, our volunteers and guests.

Julia Wischnewski is currently completing her Honours Bachelor’s Degree with the University of Toronto and specializes in Psychology and Religion. She works closely with various organizations that promote youth welfare and offer services to new families coming into Canada, including volunteering with Let’s Get Together! Julia plans on continuing her education by volunteering and teaching abroad once she has graduated.

Raptors 905 and Let’s Get Together! partner to support parents, make connections and build a community

Raptors 905 and Let’s Get Together! partner to support parents, make connections and build a community

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” – Dr. Brene Brown

From left to right: Hugh and Karen Keane, Donna Best, Sierra Shinn-Best and Ryan Reid, share their personal stories of how they support Raptors 905 players, Kaza Keane and Aaron Best. 

Last Saturday morning Let’s Get Together! in partnership with the Raptors 905 team hosted a parent involvement panel discussion. The Raptors 905 is the G-League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors. Families of two players, Kaza Keane and Aaron Best, sat on the panel sharing their journey of raising young professional athletes and offering advice to parents of inspiring athletes.

Services for parent support is a need in our community that has been identified by Alison Canning and her team from Let’s Get Together! Parents face ongoing pressures that can be a difficult path to navigate. Although there are a multitude of parenting blogs and magazines, creating human connections and finding ways to relate to one another allows parents to know they are not alone in their experience.

Today’s modern Toronto family looks much different than it did fifty years ago. We are seeing an increase in mixed-race, same-sex, blended, and even single parent families. According to a 2011 study, single parents head one in every five families. As well it was found that in 2016 almost a quarter are lone-parent households (88.5% of these are a female alone family) (Statistics Canada, 2016). Many parents have expressed that they struggle to connect with their family due to increased demands and expectations. As the work force modernizes with both parents working, there is less time to connect with their children. Parents also tend to have less family support as they no longer live within 5km of their extended family to share the responsibilities of raising a child. This is shown in the most recent census where only 3.7% of households in Toronto are a multi-generational household. (Statistics Canada, 2016)

Children are more stressed and are burning out faster than ever due to high expectations from school and extracurricular activities. This can intensify from distractions like video games, television, and social media. Children and parents are both experiencing high levels of stress that can take away from spending time with another thus leading to relationships that lack trust and understanding.

This disconnect between families is stressful and leads to difficult emotions. Youth have higher rates of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts than in prior generations. However, we do know that sports and play are a natural and healthy tool to combat many of these emotions. Playing through sports allows for human connection, it teaches youth social and problem-solving skills and encourages a more active lifestyle. Although it does take time out of an already busy schedule our parents know how important it is in their child’s development. As stated by UNICEF:

“Throughout the life of a child, sport and play can be valuable tools to promote health and prevent disease, both through sport itself, and through the participatory act of watching others play, with the associated communication, education and social interaction that games can produce.” (UNICEF, 2014)

Together with the Raptors 905 team and the parents of the players, a panel was created to give new parents support in the navigation of raising their young athletes. The intention of the panel was to enable parents to build connections with another to know they are not alone in their experiences. Throughout the conversation key messages included ‘Just show up’, ‘Build your tribe’, ‘Don’t get caught up in the bright light’ and ‘Family is everything’. Overall the common theme was the importance of family connection or building community with those around you. In addition, it was expressed how valuable it is to be present with your child both on and off the court to build a healthy relationship. The Raptors 905 parents shared and suggested some helpful routines that can propel a parents’ good intentions into practice. These suggestions included: home cooked meals, hosting study groups, holding therapy breakfasts and opening a family group chat.

Watching the panel discussion, the audience nodded their heads, resonating with the experiences that the Raptors 905 parents shared. There were emotional conversations of how to raise children as a single parent and the importance of building community beyond family relations. This discussion provided an incredible opportunity to build human connection for parents across the GTA and left many filled with gratitude and inspiration.

Moving forward, Let’s Get Together! will be partnering once again with the Raptors 905 team on March 10th for an event discussing a growth mindset. This presentation will provide powerful and inspirational messages from Raptors 905 players Aaron Best, Kaza Keane, Shevon Thompson and Kennedy Meeks on how they have developed resiliency and focus.

Visit our website at communitylearninghub.org for more information.
We hope to see your family there!

PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

Photos/videos courtesy of Laura MakEdge Imaging, our volunteers and guests.

Kianna Dewart, B.A, MSc. International Development
Coordinator and Youth Ambassador with Let’s Get Together!
Email: kianna@letsgettogether.ca

Feel free to connect if you have any questions!

Are you looking for a Summer Job?

Are you looking for a Summer Job?

Hey current students! Are you starting your search for a summer position? Check out the following link for postings from various Ministries in Ontario: https://www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/Search.aspx

Why take a summer position with groups such as in the Government or with NGOs?

As a young person you have many options for what to do with your summer off… Backpack Southeast Asia, work at the mall, watch Netflix then sleep all day or perhaps you could even find a summer position in your field. All these choices may be something you are starting to think about now and I am someone who did each…

As a recent graduate one of the best pieces of advice I can share from my journey is that experience in your field is key to helping you learn about work in your desired field. Summer positions help you develop your networks, let you apply your classroom learning and provide the hands on experiences you may need for the future. Reflecting on each of these choices I know that what experience I still carry with me today and that has served me best in my journey to work in International Development was my internship with Red Cross. I spent several summers that turned into full year internships with the Red Cross in Disaster Management and Youth projects. This experience gave me insight how to coordinate community projects, confidence in leading others and it immensely helped to have such supportive supervisors who could write letters of recommendation that helped with graduate school applications.

I feel confident now applying for job postings in my field that expect a Masters Degree and at least 5 years experience. As being 23 I am able to say that I have the work experience (as well as an Msc) which is often what holds new graduates back from applying to their dream careers.

I am so thankful that I can apply to postings now and do work that utilizes my knowledge that I gained in my summer positions. In addition it also helped me narrow down what work I wanted and did not want to pursue in my future.

Don’t be afraid to apply- take the initiative and go for it!

Kianna Dewart, B.A, MSc. International Development
Coordinator and Youth Ambassador with Let’s Get Together
Email: kianna@letsgettogether.ca

Feel free to connect if you have any questions!

 

Kianna is a recent Masters of Science graduate from the University of Amsterdam with expertise in the field of community development, youth programs, gender equality and sexuality health education. Kianna is the Workshop Coordinator and Youth Voice Ambassador with Let’s Get Together. Kianna’s role includes providing thoughtful insights for Let’s Get Together youth projects that are relevant and reflective of experiences youth face today. Kianna seeks to continually be part of the process of encouraging youth to develop their voices to advocate for what they need for school and personal success.

Humber College launches Youth Transition Program

Humber College launches Youth Transition Program

Program makes postsecondary education more accessible to out-of-school youth in the community

Humber’s Community Outreach and Workforce Development department, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and department of Student Success and Engagement have launched a free program to help youth aged 19-29 make a successful transition to college, whether or not they’ve graduated from high school.

The Youth Transition Program (YTP) will be delivered four times per week from November 6 until December 15, and allows participants to explore their interests and career goals while learning more about postsecondary education options. Working with a Student Support Advisor, students will create their own individualized learning plan, focusing on the steps required to transition to a postsecondary program of their choice.

“When young people leave high school, they can become disconnected from the supports that will assist them in preparing for postsecondary options,” says Geraldine Babcock, Humber’s director of Community Outreach and Workforce Development. “This program will allow participants to better understand where they are academically, and whether they require some upgrading or are ready to apply as a mature student. Many young people aren’t aware that colleges have resources that will enable them to prepare for and pursue an education beyond high school.”

Along with sessions to explore career interests and build literacy and numeracy skills, students are also able to take specialized classes in areas such as Health, Business, Media  and Technology. Advising and mentorship are also important components of the program, with individual advising sessions happening once per week and continuing after the program has completed.

To determine the structure and content of YTP, Humber held consultations both with community groups that serve youth and with young people themselves. The feedback indicated that, along with academic skills, youth needed other practical supports to take advantage of the program. As a result, participants receive free bus tokens and lunch for the duration of the program. YTP will also run from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. each day, allowing students with children to drop them off and pick them up if needed. In addition, if students successfully complete the program and decide to apply to a postsecondary program, their application fees will be covered.

“With the recent changes to OSAP, postsecondary education has become more affordable,” says Babcock. “Humber College wants to reach out to youth who have not pursued postsecondary options, ensure that they are aware of this change, and provide the academic advising that will assist them in exploring this option further. Most importantly, the program provides supports to ensure young people have the knowledge and skills to transition successfully to a college program, allowing them to realize their full potential.”

For more information about the program, please go to humber.ca/community/youth