Members of the YMCA Youth Council and Youth Leadership Program 

The YMCA of Greater Saint John’s Youth Council was formed in September of 2017, with a goal to serve as a forum for open dialogue between the Y and the youth population within greater Saint John.

Seven months later and 10 young professionals in the Port City are creating change by volunteering to engage youth and expand on leadership development opportunities, while also identifying gaps in programming.

“I had been wanting to get involved in the community and this seemed like a great opportunity to help make a positive impact in Saint John,” explained 25-year-old Brittany McGraw, who is a talent acquisition specialist at JDI.

The Youth Council has been working with the YMCA Young Leaders as part of their research, and their time with the group has not only had an impact on the youth they are mentoring. The council members are learning about leadership in new ways as well.

“I have seen future leaders be made while volunteering on the Y’s Youth Council,” said Kjeld-Mizpah Conyers-Steede, UNBSJ student. “The saying that leaders are not born, they are made is being proven through the work of the YMCA.”

Jen Brown is the Community Schools Coordinator at Hazen White-St.Francis, but she also volunteers as the Chair of the committee. According to Jen, it’s important for people and organizations to work together in order to create change, and that is one of the reasons she got involved.

“At the YMCA, we are building healthy communities through the power of belonging and we would not be able to accomplish this without the support and generosity of amazing volunteers,” explained Nicole Vair, communications coordinator for the YMCA of Greater Saint John, who also volunteers as a member of the Youth Council.

If you are interested in learning more about this committee’s work, or want to get involve as a YMCA volunteer, visit saintjohny.ymca.ca or call 693-YMCA.