2019 07
Developmental Relationships in Action - Milton

As part of the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) Grow Grant - the Halton Youth Initiative expanded into the communities of Acton, Aldershot and Milton in 2019. 

 

The Milton Youth Action Team (MYAT) was established on July 2, 2019, at the Our Kids network Community Hub - located in the Our Lady of Victory Elementary school. The initial team consisted of a dozen youth and community partners from a variety of organizations. 

 

This team was high energy, extremely caring and an ambitious group of teens. During the era before the COVID-19 pandemic, the team successfully completed a number of projects and campaigns that met the goals outlined by our project:

 

  • Goal 1 - Youth know more about local resources

  • Goal 2 - Community knows more about topics that matter to youth

  • Goal 3 - Advocating for positive youth hangout space

 

We were grateful for the ongoing support from our community partners and adult allies. Organizations that shared power and expanded possibilities with this team included the Town of Milton, Our Kids Network, Milton Public Library, Region of Halton - Public Health, Halton Families for Families, RE:SOUL Youth Centre, ROCK, and HMC Connections. Special shoutout to the Milton Youth Friendly Network (facilitated by the Town) for their ongoing support and capacity building of youth-serving organizations. 

 

Numbers aside, volume aside - the depth of the relationships and the shift of perspectives in both young people and the adults connected to this project is the true marker of success. Friendships, mentorships and team players were forged. Youth found themselves, honed in on their strengths, learned about the world around them. Adults met the youth where they were at, taught and learned, and exemplified the pillars of Developmental Relationships. 

 

Examples of Developmental Relationships displayed by youth and adults on this team:

  • Express Care - MYAT expressed care to one another each week. Highlight examples include: MYAT went to Amber Siddiqui’s directorial debut at Milton District High School. Lily, Iman Ahsan and Nabeha Hafiz went to Burlington to watch Kacy Bao and Amber Siddiqui do their speeches for student trustees (we also ran into HYI teammate Hargun!).

  • Provide Support - Establishing a team contract sets the boundaries for how and what volunteers would contribute to their team. Action items, deadlines and partnering people up created a space for folks to learn and complete tasks. This was a new experience for almost all of the volunteers so navigating committee work together was an important part of our process. 

  • Challenge Growth - Team check-ins and coaching sessions with Lily and our adult allies allowed the volunteers to learn more about project management, hosting successful events, running effective campaigns. 

  • Share Power - Michelle Dittmer from the Town of Milton provided the opportunity to plan and lead two entertainment stages at the 2019 Milton Fall Fair, their first project. Leadership opportunities within the team meetings and in the projects were paramount to building trust and momentum. Whether it was reading the Land Acknowledgement, reading the agenda, being the point person at the event - youth self-selected how they wanted to lead. 

  • Expand Possibilities - Internal pitch competition where our team split into 4 groups and created a community action project pitch. Judges included representatives from Our Kids Network, Town of Milton, Milton Public Library and Halton Families for Families. Countless awards, scholarships and letters of reference inspired youth to see their strengths and prepare for their next chapters of life!

 

Team Mates included:

  • Saad Ahmed

  • Iman Ahsan

  • Kacy Bao

  • Rayyan Syed Burkari

  • Nabeha Hafiz

  • Danial Khan

  • Mira Kikhia

  • Farrah Laufer

  • Ali Malik

  • Emily Mondoux

  • Chase Moulton

  • Emily Moulton

  • Gabriel Moulton

  • Rayyan Nezami

  • Nicole Seymour

  • Amber Siddiqui

  • Mercedes Snyder

  • Tyler Snyder

  • Waqar Ul Hassan

  • Elham Waizi

  • MYAT Facilitator: Lily Viggiano