After a successful In-Person Meeting where NYMAC created their workplan, elected new co-chairs, and welcomed new members, 2020 was poised to be the year that NYMAC took a major step into furthering the BBBSC Youth Engagement Strategy and coming into their own as a youth council.
The covid-19 pandemic proved to be a slight inconvenience.
In the midst of waves of uncertainty, NYMAC members remained resilient and continued to meet monthly to discuss new and innovative ways that they could engage in their communities, with the national board, and with one another through team-building activities. It was a year of both collective and personal introspection for the council, and NYMAC grew into a family-like atmosphere, with an increased resolve to make a positive difference in the lives of fellow young Canadians. Although this year brought many challenges, much progress was made by the group.
The role of NYMAC members remained widespread, with members attending and moderating events such as the virtual “Youth in Office” series, and the “Power of Mentoring” series brought by the Canadian Mentoring Partnership (now MENTOR Canada). “The Youth in Office” series was organized by the council in conjunction with the national office, and the first two panels were a great success. These panels invite various Members of Parliament to cover topics affecting young people in Canada, such as mental health, politics, and Indigenous affairs. Four more sessions are planned to take place in 2021. Their presence in these events served to spread awareness about the work of BBBSC, give light to the issues that affect youth, highlight the benefits of mentoring, and gain intangible professional skills.
NYMAC members were involved in the planning committees for the since-cancelled 2020 Regional Convention, where their responsibilities included attending meetings, providing suggestions for improvement, and ensuring that the youth perspective would be evident in the formation of the events. The youth council continued its monthly blog posts, covering a wide range of topics including mentoring in rural areas, the mentor-mentee relationship, and advocacy through allyship. NYMAC also underwent an internal restructuring as part of its governance initiative and elections of new co-chairs, a treasurer, and a secretary. The Pay it Forward Project, written largely by NYMAC members in the summer of 2019, began its initiation phase in the fall, with two NYMAC members directly involved with the planning and implementation of this initiative scheduled to take place in early 2021.
Hindsight is 2020, and with 2020 in the rearview mirror, it has given NYMAC an enhanced perspective, growth, and teamwork, which the group plans to accentuate in 2021. With a new executive team, a new structure, and a wealth of new ideas, NYMAC is ready to take on the new challenges and opportunities that 2021 will bring.