Ethno-cultural Youth Advisory

This advisory works with organizations offering services to youth and community leaders to identify and meet the needs of immigrant youth and their families. A 12-member team, made up of youth (aged 15 to 24) strives to raise awareness of immigrant and ethno-cultural issues in Ottawa. They research the challenges facing newcomers to Canada and then share their findings through workshops and information sessions for community service providers and decision makers.

By promoting on-going dialogue and building strong relationships with community providers, the committee helps to ensure that immigrant youth and their families have access to the services and support they need to successfully transition into Canadian society.

Youth-led workshops help to engage immigrant and ethno‑cultural youth and empower and inspire them to facilitate change within their own communities.

How to access the program

Contact the program coordinator to schedule a youth-led information session or workshop, to volunteer for the Ethno-cultural Youth Advisory, or to get more information about the group.

613-241-7913 ext. 410

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Milo's Story

Every year when I was little, I’d think “this will be the year that everything will be okay”. And every year, I’d be crushed. By the time I was 18 I couldn’t take my dad’s drinking or my mom’s crying anymore, so I packed a knapsack with the warmest clothes I had and I left. It was freezing cold, and I was alone…but I was free.

The next few months were rough and at times very scary. I spent nights in parks, doorways and even under bridges all with just an old sleeping bag a friend had given me. One night it was so cold that I walked until the sun came up, afraid that I would freeze to death if I slept.

It took me awhile to get over the embarrassment to start asking people for money. But, it was swallow my pride or stay cold and hungry. After two weeks of doing this I learned about YSB. I didn’t know it then but, in that moment, my life changed for the better. I got connected to YSB’s Young Men’s Emergency Shelter and my first night in the shelter I slept 11 hours. I felt so safe and secure. I remember that moment clearly and I felt so hopeful I now have my own apartment in one of YSB’s long-term housing buildings, am attending college to become a graphic designer, and am working part-time to support myself.

“For the first time I can remember, I’m really excited about my future. Growing up I just thought about getting by one day at a time.” I hope my story conveys just how life changing it was for me to be able to access YSB’s shelter during a really difficult time in my life. The team at YSB supported me every step of the way, and I’m grateful they were by my side. I hope you’ll consider taking the opportunity to transform the life of another young person like me today.


*While Milo’s story is real his name has been changed to protect his privacy