If we want to better understand how to help the youth in our community, we need to hear from them. This fall, the YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth welcomed 12 young leaders from our community to help guide our mission and amplify young voices in our community.

The Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) is a group of youth from the Halifax region committed to the values of the YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth, while delivering on its purpose, vision, and mission. The members challenge themselves and their peers in the spirit of giving of their time, energy, and talent to support the YMCA so that young people will benefit. The YAC will support the YMCA by advocating for continued awareness and responsiveness to issues that impact young people living in our community.

The committee is still in its early stages of its first year, and has already successfully put together a diverse team that is deeply passionate about the multitude of barriers youth are facing in our community. Exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for additional youth support systems has never been more urgent.

“I’m a person of color so I’m a great believer of diversity and inclusion. I want to make all BIPOC people feel present, and heard in every aspect of their lives. These days I see mental health is a big issue […]. We need to work on that – mental health and diversity and inclusion.”-Anushka Sen, Grade 12 Student Halifax West, YAC Vice-Chair

The Youth Advisory Committee will spend its first year developing policy, conducting research, and connecting with our community’s youth to discuss relevant concerns and solutions, then report these findings to the YMCA’s Board of Directors.

The YMCA has been in Halifax for 169 years, and has successfully adapted to deliver services throughout every major crisis in that history – and this one will be no different. Our YMCA is evolving, and this inspiring young committee will help lead the way.