The Community Round Table’s Youth Friendly Community Committee was established in 2009 as a partnership between local youth and adults. In early 2011, following discussions on the nature and purpose of the Committee, they decided as a group to change their name to (re)DEFINING YOU(th). The purpose of the Committee is to discuss issues of interest to young adults and to advocate on their behalf.
The Committee also works to support and promote youth-friendly activities and to normalize relations between youth and adults, and with the community at large. Membership on the Committee includes youth, clergy, educators, representatives of the local Health Unit, the police, city government, local organizations serving youth, the YMCA, and Skills Link youth.
One of the goals of the Youth Committee was to have Sarnia recognized as a youth friendly city by Playworks, the Ontario Partnership for Active and Engaged Youth. In order to receive this recognition, the Youth Committee submitted an application outlining the ways in which Sarnia has contributed to youth engagement and "play" in the community. While the first application, submitted in 2009, was rejected, in 2010 Sarnia was recognized as a youth friendly community by Playworks. This designation lasts for five years.
In 2012 (re)DEFINING YOU(th) held their first Youth Summit. The Summit took place on February 16, 2012 at Sarnia Collegiate and Technical Institute. The purpose of the Summit was to encourage those in attendance to think about who they can be, how they can make their ideals real, and to learn about what Sarnia has to offer youth. The keynote speech was given by George Watsky, and other speakers included Jaci Bork (adventure enthusiast), Brent Foster (photojournalist), Tim Nixon (co-owner, Boarder Pass), and Dan Edwards (motivational speaker). The event also included a concert in the evening, featuring George Watsky, D.O., Lunchbox Standard, Slakah, and the Chocolate Robots.
The youth developed the logo below to reflect Sarnia as a youth friendly community. The logo has two meanings. The youth felt that the work going on in the community was helped in reDEFINING YOUth and also assisted youth in DEFINING YOU. The words around the logo reflect how Sarnia is youth friendly.
Events, businesses, or organizations can be recognized by the committee as youth friendly if they meet the criteria.
For more information on Redefining Youth, please visit the Redefining Youth Facebook page.