Hope everyone enjoyed that snow day yesterday! I sure did, got so much sleep. Anyways, quick blog post today just to tell everyone to please fill out the form below! It is to help us find ideas to help We Act with their 10in1Day event (blog post below will explain more!) The form takes less than 4 minutes to complete, and it really truly does help, as we are busy planning our KickStart Youth Fest! Here is a small amount of information on We Act:
"We Act (We all connect together) is comprised of a local youth who are interested in the common goal of making their community/schools a more inclusive place."
-Katie Campbell - Project Lead
So there you have it, please help us out!
I am back once again! This time, I bring some very exciting news about an event MYAC is going to be helping with in the coming months. It was an idea brought to us recently by Community Living Welland-Pelham as a part of their Change Project. It is an idea that is related to an event that Toronto has run for the last two years called 100in1Day, but with a few modifications to meet Welland's needs. (Link to Toronto's event: https://toronto.100in1day.ca/)
The idea that Community Living had with the event was to, instead of having 100 events in just 1 day, to start small but with an idea that focuses on positive spaces as apposed to random acts of kindness. Don't get me wrong, Random Acts are great, but it just isn't where they want to go with the event. Instead, they want to focus on the main idea of, "Who are the youth that don't get to sit at the table (fit in)," and,"Well, why exactly is that?" The way they will accomplish that is by hosting ten "mini-events" in schools and with the help of other committees (hence our support) and businesses that all focus around building safe places (communities) for youth to come and talk and hangout for a few hours all in one day.
SO what is MYAC's involvement in this event? We are going to be in charge of holding one of these events, but this is where you (the reader) comes into play! We are extremely busy planning our events for Kickstart Youth (the events we hold every year in May) so we need your great ideas to help out with this event! I am not sure whether it will be a form you can fill out on the front page or a new survey, but make sure you head there after reading this and give some ideas we could do to promote a SAFE COMMUNITY for youth! That is the main idea! More info to come on the event soon, just submit those wonderful ideas about possible events MYAC could help host to promote positive spaces and communities within youth! Thanks!
Just wanted to make a quick post to tell everyone that our Teen Skate is coming up this FRIDAY! We had some pretty good numbers last time, around 40 people, and I would love to see that number crushed this month! Please, invite everyone you know who's a teen and has even a slight interest in skating! Coming from a teenager, I love this event mainly because of the environment. You get an hour of free skating and just get to have fun with all of your friends while you listen to some pretty great music! All you need is your student I.D. and some canned food for entry to the greatest event in Welland!
See everyone there
P.S. Longer post next week.
Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season! I'm back with Weekly Updates as well as blog posts as normal unless I say otherwise (you can find these updates on MYAC's Facebook: _) I wanted to make a short blog post today about New Year's Resolutions and what they mean to me.
On the 31st of every Decemeber, humanity unites in bars, living rooms, community events, sporting events and a number of other places to celebrate New Year's Eve, a day the human race has elected as the last day before a clean slate, a brand new year. We gather together and celebrate whatever traditions we have, and then ponder the question that we spend different amounts of time thinking about, what is my New Year's Resolution going to be? It could be losing that 10 pounds that you can't seem to shake, it could be reducing stress, it could be to go out more, whatever it is, most of us have one in the back of our mind (even if we aren't forward about it.)
Lots of people ask the same question I am going to ask today: Why does it require a specific day to change something we don't like in our lives? Why can't we just do it now? Well here's my view on it. It's because as a whole group of people (especially including myself) we are incredible at putting things off. Waiting until next week, next month or until that fateful night on the 31st were we say, "This year, OH THIS YEAR, is going to be different! I'm going to get that gym membership. I'm going to lose those pounds, It's going to be great," But two weeks later, your back to the old habits, and the gym membership has been canceled and that brand new yoga matt has gone to waste.
I am not being hypocritical because this happens to me all the time. I say I'm going to go out and train today or I'm going to go to the gym today and it just does not happen. I lose the motivation or a Big Bang Theory marathon is on and I just don't do it. But at the end of the day, I've said it before and so many other people, your biggest inspiration in life has to be yourself. You will notice huge changes in your life,
So folks, don't wait. We don't know how long we have on this beautiful planet, no one does. So let's not waste it. Don't wait until New Year's, you should get started now :)
Teen Skate is coming up January 15th, hope to see you there!
It's been a while folks,
Welcome back! It's been a while since the last post and if you are following our Facebook page (which you should be) I explained it a bit. I will explain my absence a little more in full now. To be completely honest, running a Facebook page and a blog requires a bit of work. Not an extreme amount, but I like to take my time while I do these things in order to produce the best possible content. And it's not the amount of work that made me stop producing content for a while, it was more the lack of motivation. This is something I struggle with day-to-day, but I felt it especially over the last few weeks (not sure why). Anyways, the point is, whatever I do in my life, I want to do it with motivation. And that is going to be what this post is going to be about. I'm back, so sit back, relax, grab some snacks and enjoy yourself, because this is going to be a good one :)
"The general desire or willingness of someone to do something."
In March or April of this year (I can't remember which month exactly) I went to an event that changed the way I think about life completely. It was called the From Here To There Tour, and it starred my two idols, Jesse La Flair and Cory Demeyers. If you read up on me on the homepage of this website, you would see that my biggest passion is parkour and freerunning. A lot of people know what that is, but if you don't, it is essentially a growing sport that involves only your body to create movement over, under or around obstacles in a fancy or fluid motion. You can literally do it anywhere, it is amazing and it makes my heart beat. Anyways, I'll do a separate blog post about it another time. For now, I will explain the event.
It took place in one of the world's most beautiful parkour gyms, The Monkey Vault, which is located in Toronto. People from all over the world came down to watch a documentary Jesse and Cory made, and also to train with them and each other. The entire day was filled with laughter and meeting incredible people. I will admit, I fangirled real hard when me and my best friend walked outside and ended up standing next to Pasha the Boss, a Latvian athlete we have both been obsessed with for years.
Anyways, at the end of the documentary, which was screened at a beautiful theater that I will give a shout out to at the end of this blog post if I can remember it, Cory gave a speech about living an "Inspired Life." Now I know you've heard it a million times from your parents or counselors or mentors or whatever, but this is what he said. He said you need to found out now what you love to do. And you can not say there is nothing you love to do. Even like to do. We will use the word like because love is a really strong word. But everyone has something they like to do. Every single person on the planet. He said to us that you need to find what you like to do, and you need to chase it. Like crazy. And if it's something you love, you need to work your butt off to accomplish it, because there is no one in the world who can do it for you, but yourself. You can't wait.
This moved me. I was on the verge of tears in my seat. Sounds corny, but I swear I was. Maybe it was because my childhood idol was steps away from me, but also because everything he was saying to me made sense. I had been waiting to hear that my entire life, and I had found my passion. I had found what makes me feel amazing, and I knew I wasn't going to stop doing it until big changes happened in my life that required more attention. But I know parkour will always be something I am involved in, even if not the sport as much in the future, the community for sure. I have met so many friends through this sport, that I know I can depend on for anything!
Look, the point of all of this is, you need to find something you want, and you need to not stop chasing that until you get there. And you need to start like today. Because everyone is capable of putting things off, but you are in charge of yourself and your future. I guess you have to think of what you really want in your life. Where you want to be, where you want to go, who you want to do that with. Today is the best day to start. I realized this in March, and my training has now continued for almost 3 years. I'm not saying things don't get hard. Things will always be hard. A perfect example was the lack of content for the past 2 weeks. But I feel it again. Self-motivation is the best way to get things done, and it's all up to you. Your attitude, the amount of time you spend on something, the way you look at the world will determine where you will be.
So friends, the last thing I will say to you is that you deserve the best life. As people that live in Canada or any other privileged country, there are very few things stopping us from where we want to be. And if there are a lot of things stopping you, remember that if there is air in your lungs, then there is a way to accomplish what you want. Have the best week ever and the best life. If there is one post I would've wanted you to read, it's this one. It's up to you, live an inspired life.
Before beginning this post, I want to address the tragedies that happened over the weekend. I don't want to ruin the mood of this blog, but sometimes it is good to talk about something a little bigger than us, so I am going to do that quickly. I am in no way fit to discuss something of this magnitude, but I would like to say that Paris and all the places in the world affected by terrorism are in my mind and thoughts, and this is something that should not be taken lightly. The only way for us, the people who aren't on the front lines of this war to support our allies, is to love everyone equally. The reason why these things happen is solely because of hate. Everyone can argue their own opinions, but at the end of the day, acts or violence of malice happen because of hate. So this week and the next and the one after that, and for as long as we live as a human race, we need to love. Because at the end of the day, the only way to overcome such evils as terrorism and war, is to love. So instead of sharing all the negative posts on Facebook about how France is going to war against ISIS and about how they wrote "Love Paris" on their bombs, just focus on the positive. And if you're going to share something about Paris or France, just share the little peace sign made of the Eiffel Tower. That seems to be the easiest way to show your support and that you want peace. Now let's get to the rest of post.
Sorry this post is a little late, but I have been having a difficult time finding a topic to talk about because I already talked about events in November this month and I haven't seen any new movies or read any new books or anything like that. So I decided to talk about something that isn't extremely serious, but is just kind a good thing to keep in mind as you are going through life!
The world changed on February 4th, 2004. A brilliant young man named Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates decided to launch a little website called "Facebook", opened only to students at his school. Eventually, he decided to open the site up to a larger audience, expanding access to all colleges in the Boston Area, Stamford University and the Ivy League. During the year of 2004, Facebook earned a total of 1 million users. I'm sure Zuckerberg and his friends very, very pleased. Little did they know, this was only the beginning. Today, Facebook has 1.49 Billion users, has over 4.5 Billion likes generated daily and is currently worth around $245 Billion Dollars. That's right, all of those numbers are in the billions or hundred billions, and they are correct. I checked all of these numbers like 4 times and I found them on real websites. I will put the link for the websites at the bottom if you would like to check yourself, just in case you still think your eyes are playing tricks on you (I don't blame you.) Facebook rules the internet, it is the second most visited page on the entire internet (right behind Google). It was the most popular app of 2014, with more than 114 Million unique visitors (new users). I might even go as far as to say that Facebook is ruling the world. Not literally, but I mean a seventh of the entire WORLD is registered on this website! If every single person who has used Facebook even once made an army, they could conquer the world. No questions asked. But what does all of this mean. What does it matter? Why do so many people use Facebook? Two words to explain Facebook: It's easy.
It's easy. It's easy to talk about your life. It's easy to rant about things. It's easy to share media on. It's easy to start a brand on. It's easy to market on. It's easy to spend time on. It's easy to sign up for. But the easiest thing to do on this website is talk to people. All you have to do is type in a random name in the search bar, and click message. You don't even have to be friends with them (unless they have different privacy settings, I get it). But you can basically just message them and that's that. You can also call people on Facebook now as long as you have WiFi and have a microphone on your phone or computer. Facebook (and texting which is essentially the same thing) is 100% the easiest way to talk to people in our generation. We don't even need to move. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with this. I text people all the time. I would say I probably send like 75 messages minimum a day. Probably way more but that is just an estimate. Anyways, texting is just way easier than an actual verbal conversation. That's is just the truth and everyone knows it! However, the best things in life are never easy. Everyone also knows that. And in my opinion one of the best things in the world is sitting down with someone and having an amazing conversation. One that is so good that hours pass and you have no idea, because your just so caught up in the moment and caught up in being present.
You might be thinking," I've had some pretty great conversations with people on the phone," and I don't doubt that for a second. I have too! But nothing compares to actually having someone with you, being immersed in the conversation and just having fun....talking. It is so much more real than the words on the screen, whatever they might say. I promise you, they will sound infinitely better if you actually hear them, physically with your ears. Weird, I know, but I hope this is making sense. Another thing I would like to add, just because you are "friends" with someone on Facebook doesn't mean you are friends with them in real life. I learned that one a while ago, when I walked up to someone and said, "Hey! We're friends on Facebook! What's up!" and they just gave me the weirdest look on the planet. I don't blame that person, I looked really dumb. Relationships aren't based on statuses, they are based on real human interaction. They are based on moments and memories, not a notification that says "Hey! You've been friends with _______ for 3 years! Click here to post MEMORY.)
That's not a memory. Facebook sending you a notification that 3 years ago you scrolled past someone you think you saw at a party but you don't really remember and hit send friend request and now you're still friends isn't a memory. See, you aren't friends with that person. You might not even be acquaintances, you might not have even met them! And don't get me wrong, I can go through my own friend list and probably find 70 people I haven't even met before. I'm not going to lie, I keep them on there because I like seeing the high friend count. It makes me feel popular inside and that feels good! I'm not being hypocritical or blaming anyone because we ALL do it! We all have people on that list that we don't even recognize, and we all post those ("I've been friends with ________ for ___ years!) It's fun! It really is but there is only so far we can go with it before we start living a kind of digital life. We start living the number of likes we get and the number of friends we have and who commented this and who said that and it just gets to be too much. It's sad, and it's happened to me and probably a lot of the people reading this. Our egos expand and or pride increases, we just aren't nice or kind to many people EXCEPT people on the same "level" as us. Again, not blaming, I've done it too.
So my challenge for you is to start a conversation with someone in person. It can be simple as "hello" or "how is your day going" or anything along those lines. Or it can be an actual like long, immersive conversation. It doesn't matter how long. Just talk to someone without the help of technology. Maybe it might be a good time to revisit old friendships you feel drifting? Whatever the case is, just go talk to someone. I know this isn't an original idea or anything like that, but I have kind of an original ending. When you are done talking to someone, don't post about it. No #Talktosomeone. Not one status. Not one tweet. Not even a comment on this blog. That would ruin the entire concept of what is trying to be accomplished. Just have the satisfaction in your heart that you talked to someone without using your cellphone or Facebook or whatever. Again, I don't want this post to seem like I'm hating on social media or texting or anything like that. My entire job on this council is social media and statuses and tweets and this blog and all of that that entails. And I can say that I absolutely adore it, from the bottom of my heart I love what I am doing right now. I just want to remind everyone that the likes aren't everything, and when the grown ups tell us to put our phones away, maybe we should just listen next time, because they are right." We need to be present, because it is a gift. That's why it's called the present." I heard that on a cheesy Family Channel movie or something like that, but it makes a lot of sense. Another quote I remember hearing is "We walk through this life but once," so let's do more walking and talking that texting and calling. Verbal communication is truly a gift, so let's use our beautiful voices. That's all for this post. Lot's to think about :)
I know, I know, I know. No one wants to read one more thing about the strawpoll. But I must just say two more quick things about it and then I promise you will NEVER hear another word about it. Well, unless it's about a different topic ;) Anyways, let me get through these quick little announcements so we can get to the good stuff. The strawpoll has been up now for at least a month, and I am now no longer going to be asking for any more votes. The results basically showed the top three topics were: 1) Cool things going on in Welland 2)Books/Movies/TV/Video Games/Music and 3) Pop Culture. So, I have decided to base the blog off basically these three topics as well as a serious topic at the end of every month. I won't call it "Real Talk" because let's be honest, that has been used like a million times. So before the end of the month, I will make sure I think of a catchy title or something. Second thing,
if you still want to vote for a topic or propose a new idea you can do still this on the home page of this website! That will be up for the rest of this year. So the topic for today is going to be a little inside information on some of the coolest things going on in Welland this month! (It's not really inside information, you can find the event calendar on the City of Welland website (_) November actually has a lot of events scheduled, so let's get down to business with the biggest event of the month (in my opinion) None other than Saturday, November 21st, the Santa Clause Parade! MYAC has a HUGE hand in this event, including walking in the parade, handing out candy, giving out hot chocolate after the event, and 100% the most stressful job of the entire operation: Plugging in the lights AS SOON as Santa touches his nose. I can't stress enough how big of a deal this is. This is like landing a plane, it is absolutely vital that there are NO mistakes during this process. If you are even a second late to plug in the lights, you will be left with hundreds of very confused children that have no idea why Santa can't do his job. Not good. I never volunteer for this job, it is simply too much pressure. Anyways, mark your calendars for this because it will be pretty awesome. Not too mention I will be there and absolutely ready to sign autographs ;) Kidding. Another amazing event going on is being held on Saturday, November 14th! It's called Join the Wave and it is a 5km walk starting at the Seaway Mall to help end domestic violence. I mean let's be real here folks, violence is never the way to solve a problem, especially among our relationship and family members! Also, if you raise money for the event, every 100 dollars you raise enters you in a draw to win an Americana waterpark and one night stay pass! Sounds like a win-win to me. My favorite thing about this event is actually the acronym, WAVE stands for Walk Against Violence Everyone. Very, very clever. I need to think of something like that for the month end serious talk, but I doubt it will be as cool as that. The third event I will mention is being held by the greatest, most creative and passionate group on the planet, The Welland Mayor's Youth Advisory Council! That's right, we are holding our second monthly teen skate Friday, November 20th, 2015. I can not stress enough how great of an event this is! I am not saying these things just because I am on the council, I genuinely believe that this event really is a an win-win situation for you and people in need. Let's break it down really quick. You get an hour of free skating, you get to listen to tons of awesome music and get to meet new people and maybe even make life-long friendships and IT WILL ALL BE BECAUSE YOU WENT TO A MYAC TEEN SKATE! What could be better than that? Also, it's the perfect date, if you are looking for something to do with your boyfriend or girlfriend, just going to throw it out there ;) But it really is a great event and all you need is a student I.D. card and a canned good! That is it! So grab some skates, and some canned beans and your card and get with the program people, because this event is going to be a hit, mark my words! This post is becoming extremely long, but I hope you enjoyed what you read. If you did read to the end, I would like to gift you to the link of our facebook (_) and also our twitter (_). If you liked this, please leave a comment so I know that someone is reading it :) Makes me feel pretty great. Have an awesome week and I'll see you next Tuesday.
I hope everyone had a fantastic week that was full of fun and not too much homework! This week's post is all about some music that has recently been released by an up-and-coming Australian pop star that is releasing some extraordinary content as of late! Before I tell you his name, I would like to take a quick second to explain (in my opinion) what makes a really great song. I like to cover this in three main points: The message behind the song, the passion behind the song and the purpose behind the song. When I listen to music, I can't listen to a song that lacks a meaning. That's it. I will not even give a song any thought if it has no meaning. However, if the song actually has a back-bone to it, with a definitive purpose it will definitely grab my attention. That is exactly what Troye Sivan has done to me with his most recent songs, "Wild", "Fools" and "Talk Me Down". Created for the purpose of his first studio album called Blue Neighborhood, these songs center around a rather heavy topic these days, gender and sexual equality. I feel like I can talk about this because even though I personally identify as heterosexual because all of my life I have seen people as simply people. No matter what you are, black, white, asian, Hispanic, etc I see you as simply a person. No greater than one person, no less than another. I feel the same way about people that identify differently, whether that be homosexual, bisexual, transgender, etc. Maybe I feel this way because of my up-bringing (I was always taught to accept everyone as they were) but I heard a song called "Same Love" about 3 years ago that really laid it out for me. People are people, love is love, so why should we be divided just because of preference! In Troye's three songs, you are taken on a journey from the viewpoint of two children, one in a family that is accepting of his sexuality, and the other who is brought up by an alcoholic and homophobic father. After facing many tragedies, the two boys are eventually re-united at one of there father's funerals, and they embrace just before the boy who lost his father commits suicide. All in all, this seems very tragic. You are probably thinking, "Wow this is a pretty depressing post, don't want to be reading this anymore!" But I beg you to stay and read to the end, as there is a deeper meaning to this song. I have found that meaning , actually, to be hope. Even though the one boy pushed the other away, for a long time it seems, there was a moment of reconciliation at the father's funeral, where the two embrace right before the tragic act. Through all that time of desperation and evident suffering, the one boy remained hopeful despite it all. To be honest, this had more of an impact on me than I thought it would. Although I can not directly relate to having the same experience, I can definitely relate to not being able to be with someone! It hurts and that hurt sometimes stays for a very long time. However, I have faith that one day everything will be okay and the hurt will go away! I truly believe in true love (get it), and nothing (time, people, circumstances, sexuality) can stop that. I suppose what people need to realize is that there are certain things you can not control. These things range from religion to speech, but only recently has gender and sexual equality been recognized as a right. I mean, the entire United States only legalized gay marriage in June of this year! Let's be honest, they were a little late to the parade, but at least they got on board with the majority of humanity. The ending of this music has a tragic ending that can not be over-looked. Suicide is a topic that must be discussed in order to prevent it. If you or someone you know is struggling with things like bullying, depression, sexual identity there are so many resources you can use to help get through whatever your dealing with. The first one I would recommend is the Kids Help Phone. Kids also mean teens, so don't feel like the name should stop you from using it. It is a 24-hour counseling and help hot line that is 100% confidential. They also offer web-counseling at http://www.kidshelpphone.ca/Teens/home.aspx. There phone number is 1-800-668-6868 and all of there services are free. Another resource I would like to recommend is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline! Another completely free crisis hot line that is 100% confidential and can be found at 1-800-273-8255. Suicide is a very preventable issue and if we just spread the word about these resources, I believe a lot more lives could be saved and tragedies avoided. Always remember, no matter how hopeless life feels, no matter how desperate the situation is, there are people that love you. And if you don't feel that, there are many numbers you can call (like the ones listed) or websites you can visit to seek aid. That's all for this one everyone! See you next week and have a safe, fantastic day.
We hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving, ate tons of turkey and spent time with the people you love the most! Sometimes the holidays can get a little crazy, but we hope everything went well during your Thanksgiving! Before I start this blog, (which is a FANTASTIC topic by the way) I would like to thank everyone for all the votes on the straw poll (http://strawpoll.me/5628715/r)! Remember, you can still vote, and I need as many votes as I can so that I can steer this blog towards a specific topic! However, because October is just about over (one more week) I am going to inform you on some ACTUAL holidays that exist in November that not many people know about! To start off, I am going to share my favorite holiday on this list, November 6th, 2015 which is Saxophone Day. Saxophone Day is dedicated to the appreciation, history and music of my favorite wood-wind instrument, the saxophone! So, cancel your schedule, pick up a saxophone, and bust a tune! I understand that a lot of people wont actually be able to do that, so maybe just google Saxophone music. That will do! Next up we have November 8th, Cook Something Bold Day! Feel like your life is just a little bland? Well I'm sure this day will make it a bit more epic! This day is meant to cook up something that fills the house with warm, comforting odors to celebrate November! Feeling happy? Then November 13th is the day FOR YOU! National Kindness Day! Honestly, I don't believe there should be a specific day that people should have to be nice to each other, but maybe on this day you will just remember to be a little nicer to everyone you meet. Real talk time super quick: It's easier to be a kind person than a rude one. It actually requires less muscle to smile at someone than to frown. Remember that the next time you feel sad! Missing someone in your life, alive or who has passed away! November 10th is the perfect day to remember or visit them! This day is Forget-Me-Not Day and it is designed to re-establish strong relationships with your family, friends or loved ones that you feel are drifting away. There is no feeling (in my opinion) that is worse than feeling someone you love beginning to fall away from you, so maybe on this day you will remember to say hello to them! Some people also celebrate this day by sending Forget-Me-Not flowers to people they love and miss! I really like that idea and will be doing it myself! I think the perfect holiday to share with you to end this blog is November 12th, Chicken Soup For The Soul Day! Created by the authors of Chicken Soup For The Soul, the object of this day is to, "celebrate who you are, where you've been, where you're going, and who you will be thankful to when you get there!" I think that is a fantastic holiday that everyone in the world should enjoy! I find often we are too hard on ourselves, especially because of our past, and I think that if this is something you are going through you should definitely take a look in the mirror and just tell yourself exactly what the creators of the book said! Celebrate what you are now, as opposed to what you were, be thankful for where you are and who is with you and know that everything is going to be okay! That is going to be it for this post, be sure to follow our every move on Facebook (Welland Mayor's Youth Advisory Council) and follow us on twitter (@WellandMYAC)! Also if you want to check out more of those holidays, click this link (http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/november.htm) to bring you the Bizarre and Weird Holidays calendar! Remember to check out the blog next Tuesday for another wonderful post! P.S., I sense a contest coming up! Stay tuned!
Until next time,