This past weekend, Ari our Research Student, had the privilege to represent Grandview Kids at the national Healthy Youth Summit in Toronto hosted by the Canadian Institute of Health Research-Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health. This impactful event took place over one and a half days.
Ari shares her experience below:
“As a youth, I was also invited to the youth dinner the night before, where I was able to meet and connect with youth from all across Canada. It was a nice icebreaker before the main event, as this was my first-ever conference!
During this interactive event, researchers and youth advocacies from all over the country shared meaningful thoughts and plans on how youth can be better represented in research. Powerful youth speakers spoke about their experiences and shared how stakeholders can help improve our experience in this field.
We all had a chance to share our own thoughts during the break-out group session, where we spoke about the gaps and opportunities for youth in 6 categories:
- Health and Wellness
- Leadership and Impact
- Innovation, Skills, and Learning
- Environment and Climate Action
- Truth and Reconciliation
Breakfast and lunch were provided on both days, and I was delightfully surprised by how good the food was! During meals and breaks, I had the opportunity to connect with other researchers, and I was introduced to ongoing research projects I had never heard of, such as the SickKids CHILD cohort study (13 years in progress)!
I enjoyed hearing about their research and was inspired by all their hard work. As I am relatively new to the research field, it was especially helpful for me as I was able to expand my network and learn about different areas in this field.
The key point that I took away from the conference was that “there is no future without supporting our youth.” Creating new opportunities for youth to get involved is essential for teaching them the required skills in order to advance their careers and contribute to the research field. Maintaining a safe and supportive environment where youth are treated as equals is vital. I am grateful to already have these here at Grandview Kids.
Overall, I had an amazing experience and would like to give a huge thank you to Dr. Taryn, who provided me with this opportunity and has continued to support me through my career!”
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