By: Jesse Williamson, City of Hamilton, Children’s and Community Services.
Empowering Hamilton’s Youth: Inaugural HamOntYouth Summit a Resounding Success
On Saturday, June 3rd, 2023, the City of Hamilton Youth Team, in collaboration with the HamOntYouth Steering Committee, proudly hosted the first annual HamOntYouth Summit presented by RBC. This landmark event brought together 100 vibrant young individuals aged 16-25 from across Hamilton for a full day brimming with workshops, interactive sessions, youth recognition, inspirational speakers, and exciting prizes. This event is identified as a key next step to implementing the City of Hamilton Youth Strategy.
One of the highlights of the day was the youth-led Model City Hall Workshops. These sessions offered participants a unique opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions about three pivotal issues affecting Hamilton’s youth: “Access to Mental Health and Addictions Support”, “Access to Employment and Training”, and “(re)Imagining Hamilton’s Transit Network”. Participants chose one of these topics and presented their well-thought-out resolutions to relevant City staff from respective departments, fostering dialogue and potential solutions.
The event’s keynote speaker, 2-time RBC Olympic Bobsledder Cynthia Appiah, captivated the audience with her inspiring journey of resilience, having migrated from Uganda to Canada and emerging as one of Canada’s leading medal prospects. Attendees also had the privilege of hearing from local Hamilton sports team athletes, student government leaders, and financial experts, who shared their valuable insights to help prepare the youth for their future endeavors. Additionally, a community services fair featuring 30 community partners provided an excellent platform for participants to explore various community engagement opportunities.
The overwhelming success of the summit was made possible through the generous support of our partner RBC. Thanks to their commitment, the HamOntYouth Summit presented by RBC will return for its second annual event in 2024, promising even greater impact and empowerment for Hamilton’s youth.
For more information about the HamOntYouth Summit presented by RBC, please contact Jesse Williamson at Jesse.Williamson@Hamilton.ca. To learn more about the City of Hamilton Youth Strategy please visit www.hamilton.ca/youth Stay tuned for updates through @HamOntYouth on Instagram.