It was a pleasant surprise to see a young, bright face at the table waiting patiently to be interviewed.
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Young people don’t need Kingston. Ah, now that I’ve got your attention, let me explain. Kingston is home to some of the brightest minds in all of Canada. We proudly host 11 high schools and 3 post-secondary institutions. Traditionally, we say that Kingston is creating the leaders of tomorrow. Y2K: A Kingston Youth Strategy sees a problem with that. We think the leaders of tomorrow are ready to lead our city today. I know what some may say, “How could a 16-year old possibly know how to run a city facility?” or, “How can a university student manage the city’s transit system?” The honest answer is a young person is probably too inexperienced to hold these types of positions. The “ah-ha” moment is when adults realize that young people have a level of expertise that no adult could ever hold. Young people are experts at being a young person right now. As a thirty-something year old adult I can definitely relate to being young but I am clueless as to what it is like being a youth in 2015. Now, back to my bold statement. The reality is Kingston needs young people and not vice versa. For far too long young people have left our city without city leaders and decision makers tapping into their expertise. Y2K hopes to change that by connecting youth with adults who understand that youth are the experts in addressing the real youth issues of Kingston.
You may know Lily as one of the dedicated people who update the kingstonyouth.ca calendar.