Youth Featured Thumbnail Shivani

August 12 is the #InternationalYouthDay. This year’s designated theme is Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages. At Minerva, we recognize the potential the youth hold, and the crucial role they play now and in the future. They are the future!

Minerva has been working actively with and for the youth in BC. Our youth leadership programs and initiatives help the youth discover and tap into their inner potential, giving them the confidence to voice their choices and opinions. We connect youth with established leaders though various initiatives including Executive Days and mentorship panels and sessions with organizations like RBC, Shaw, and Best Buy. Our WAGE-funded intergenerational learning program Making Space for Youth Leadership (MSYL) brings together youth and business leaders in a reciprocal learning format where they co-create a ‘learning exchange’ in their community.

“As you move through the different stages of your life, take note of the new things that you have discovered about yourself without judgement.” – Shivani Mehta

As we work towards a world where every voice has its share, we had a quick chat with MSYL youth participant Shivani Mehta for this feature. Shivani, who was instantly drawn to the program, is currently working with her team on her MSYL learning exchange – a virtual conference on youth leadership and authenticity.

Get to know this young leader 👇🏽

Why did you choose to get involved in Minerva and the MSYL program?

I first heard about Minerva from my friends and collegues at UBC last year. Each person I spoke to highlighted how their experience shifted their perspective and really developed their leadership skills. When I looked into getting involved with Minerva myself, the MSYL Program stood out to me because of the opportunity to engage in reciprocal mentorship with business leaders and to build community.

Tell us more about the project you are working on right now.

Through the MSYL program, students and established business leaders get to co-create a “learning exchange”. Our project is planning a virtual conference which will take place in October and focuses on youth leadership and authenticity.

I am currently working with Millie-Mai to design a segment on the importance of inclusive language and am excited to facilitate the session with her in a couple of months too.

What is the importance of youth leadership, in your opinion?

Leadership skills are really about collaboration, communication, and strategy.

I believe these skills are relevant for success in every field or industry and should be prioritized through our education. Youth leaders of today are also able to develop these skills outside of the classroom which is critically important in order for the next generation of leaders to be genuine, self-aware, and empowered.

Name three values which shape your leadership.

Resilience, Empathy, and Honesty.

What is one piece of advice you’d share with other youth leaders?

Authentic leadership is really an ongoing process, and it can be messy at times.

As you move through the different stages of your life, take note of the new things that you have discovered about yourself without judgement. By intentionally reflecting on your story, you prioritize self-development, and you can ensure that your actions align with your values.

“On this important day, let’s join hands across generations to break down barriers, and work as one to achieve a more equitable, just and inclusive world for all people.” UN Secretary-General António Guterres

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