The ‘Immigrant Youth Leadership and Career Focus’ project is a Youth Opportunities Program (YOP) lead by the Immigrant Culture and Art Association (ICAA) and funded by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
The objectives of the ‘Immigrant Youth Leadership and Career Focus’ is to introduce newcomer youth to career and employment opportunities, ensure that newcomer youth are able to troubleshoot problems and barriers which may arise, facilitate dialogue between the business community and youth, and finally to forge partnerships between newcomer youth and youth leaders from the Hamilton community.
ICAA‘s goal is to introduce newcomer immigrant youth to leadership, employment and career development programs that are available in the Canadian society. ICAA hopes not only to identify the needs but to promote and implement networking relationships between youth and services providers. This approach will encourage and empowering newcomer youth on multiple levels. The Immigrant Youth Leadership and Career Focus can also be seen as a step towards successful settlement and integration of newcomer youth and families into the Canadian society.
ICAA proposes that the focus of this project will lie in addressing issues of ethnic sensitivities, which many newcomer youth face, through artistic expression. ICAA will involve newcomer youth from approximately, but not limited to, five (5) different cultural or ethnic backgrounds. ICAA will provision the implementation of small art projects for youth participants. The small art projects will ensure that youth participants will think, imagine and create art which suites their interests, addresses various goals and does so using creative mediums. The participants will then express the product of their work through art, presentations and group based activities.
ICAA has created a comprehensive program which will lay the foundation for future career goals of newcomer youth. ICAA will organize activities including workshops, sessions and trips on a monthly basis, for the next one (1) year, to achieve such goals. This project will create a visual connection between newcomer youth’s life, school, art and their future career goals. This project will have a significant impact on students as well as on coordinators and facilitators.
The project will also encourage a group of ten (6-10) youth to organize a committee for the evaluation and survey of activities from this project. This committee will also be responsible for setting new goals and engaging with the media. The purpose of such a committee is to serve as both quality controls as well as create an ongoing body which works to link services for newcomer youth. Finally, committee members are also responsible for participating in monthly meetings and providing monthly evaluations or reports to ICAA staff and In-Term ED.
Following the completion of this project, ICAA will organize a youth summit or forum to highlight the needs and findings of the program. Such a forum or summit will ensure that youth leaders from various high schools and post secondary institutions are presented with the project outcomes, future goals and suggestions. The summit presenters will also be able to generate resolutions that will indicate Hamilton newcomer youth’s needs and gap which are present in the current pool of services. The resolutions and outcomes will be posted on the ICAA website as well as other community partner websites. The outcomes and summit may also receive media attention from local newspapers and television channels.
This project is funded by Government of Ontario