On April 5, 2019, a PD Day for both school boards, Soroptimist International London hosted a very successful Dream It Be It program for 50 high school girls and boys. Youth from each agency helped to plan the program and also helped in various ways on the day of the conference.
Girls helping with the planning insisted that boys should be included as they felt that the boys also needed and deserved to learn about the topics being presented.
Workshops on Healthy Relationships, Mentorship for College and University and Mental Health including Racism and Bullying were offered in the morning. Over the lunch hour the students had great fun having their picture taken in a photo booth.
After lunch the keynote speaker who came to Canada at age 10 as a refugee from Rwanda, now 28 and a single Mom, and who was elected to City Council in the last municipal election, inspired the students with the story of her journey in acquiring a university degree and the various challenges she has overcome. The day ended with a panel of four young people, a little older than the youth, who had attended a newcomer program and were now at college, university or working. While acknowledging the challenges they had faced, the panelists consistently focused on their victories and encouraged the students to do the same.
Everyone was impressed by the thoughtful and in depth questions the youth asked and the discussion generated throughout the day. The students evaluated the day as a very fun and inspiring experience and a good use of their PD Day.