The Youth Symposium is a meaningful day-long program held on three consecutive days, reaching almost 1,500 Grade 8 students and their teachers from across Guelph and Wellington County on its first day and an additional 3,000 students and their teachers from across Waterloo Region on the second day and third day. Each year, we develop a program and source inspiring, well-informed presenters who share their experiences of belonging, resiliency, goal setting and community engagement.
The Youth Symposium is strategically scheduled in April – reaching students as they prepare for high school and providing them with the information and tools needed to meet many of life’s opportunities and challenges. By collaborating with students, teachers and presenters, the Youth Symposium continues to grow in significance as its messages remain focused on the experiences and issues that are relevant to these young people in our community.
As Stu Saunders, one of our guest presenters, said: “You will not find this calibre of program anywhere else in Canada for this age group.”
The Youth Symposium provides an opportunity to help and support youth during this very challenging time by equipping these young people with the skills and confidence needed to meet many of life’s challenges and opportunities – empowering them towards strong futures.
“I feel inspired to be an even better person than I am now.” -A Student
“The speakers present on many levels – the kids pick up valuable messages, but there is so much for teachers too, which can be taken back and incorporated into individual classrooms and schools to spread the message even further.” -A Teacher
Powerful presentations from some of the best speakers in the country speak to issues like bullying, personal accountability, substance abuse, resiliency, risk taking and healthy dating – all topics that are important for students’ social, physical, emotional and mental health as they prepare to begin high school. Each presenter uses a different style and approach that adapts to different learning styles ensuring the day’s messages resonate with everyone.
The goals of the Youth Symposium are:
- Share with students information that is relevant and supports their overall social, physical, emotional, mental health and wellbeing.
- Educate students on tools and strategies that will help them develop resiliency and empower them to strong futures.
- Support youth by equipping them with the skills and confidence needed to embrace life’s opportunities and challenges.
- Challenge students to make a difference in the world.
- Utilize different presentation approaches to address a variety of learning styles.
- Support the teachers in their work with their students.
The program is 100% accessible and through sponsorships we are able to ensure it is affordable. It is open to all Grade 8 students in Waterloo Region and Guelph and Wellington County. Students remain with their class throughout the day and the smaller theatre setting encourages better dialogue between themselves, their teachers and their presenters. Teachers participate with their students and this allows them the opportunity to continue the learning in the classroom beyond the Youth Symposium
To view the 2019 presenters, click here.
To view our 2019 Youth Symposium brochure, click here.
To view our sponsors that enable this program to reach such a vast audience year after year, please click here.
2020 Youth Symposium
The Child Witness Centre has determined that due to the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic coupled with the labour uncertainty, the 2020 Youth Symposium scheduled for April 7 – 9th, will be cancelled.
For those schools that have already paid, thank you. Please watch for an additional email regarding your refund.
We appreciate everyone’s support of this unique and inspiring program and look forward to welcoming students and their teachers next year.
See you in 2021!