On Monday we had our very first weekly meeting with our youth. A lot of running around had to be done to prepare for the evening but sure enough 5:30 rolled around quicker than I thought. Meeting in the Boardmore Theater was exciting for the youth and they were jumping for joy at the opportunity to start our very own play! Much to my excitement the youth wanted to write a play that shows all the different ethnic backgrounds in the Pier. We played some theater games to get the ball rolling and we started to discuss who is going to do what research. The youth were ecstatic to find out what ethnic group they are each to study and with that we ended our night at 8:00 with many ideas floating about.
As we were getting up to leave from a night filled with laughter and thought, one of the youth turned to us all, took a deep breath, and said, “ I just love the Pier”. This comment really stuck with me because to me it shows the love that these youth have for their hometown and also the intelligence and talent that these youth bring to the table. I must say that I am very honored to work with these bright, intelligent, thoughtful, humorous and inquisitive young adults. This Meeting followed what we all considered to be a very positive weekend called iEngage which allowed us all to learn, inquire, and experience as a group, some very interesting ideas and presentations. This included a number of presentations from well-known academics from near and far as well as experiential endeavours where the youth agreed to, and positively engaged in outdoor scientific environmental issues and fun communal meals together. The mealtime to me is an exciting time as the youth speak freely, have fun and are quite forthcoming with their very interesting and workable ideas. It is quite an educational experience for all of us as we learn together and create goals for the future.