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.
“Youth leadership is of the utmost importance because we are the leaders that will shape our future.” – Millie-Mai.
As we work towards a world where every voice has its share, we recently caught up with MSYL youth participant Millie-Mai Dadzi for this feature. Millie-Mai is also a Learning to Lead™ alum who is currently working on her MSYL learning exchange, a leadership and representation conference called Empowering Spaces, with her team.
Get to know this amazingly positive, and driven young girl 👇🏽
Why did you choose to get involved in Minerva and the MSYL program?
I joined the Minerva Learning to Lead™ program back in 2019 and it honestly changed my life. I had only been living in Canada for 8 months and I was eager to make new friends and connections. In a student council meeting, a teacher suggested I apply for the Learning to Lead™ program. I had such an amazing experience, I made friendships which I still cherish today and I got to speak with some inspirational women who truly encouraged me to pursue my ambitious career goals.
As alumni, I was lucky enough to find out about the MSYL program and I jumped at the chance to get involved because it would allow me to develop my leadership skills with actual business leaders who have great accomplishments in their fields.
Tell us more about the project you are working on right now.
Currently, my team is working on a leadership and representation conference called Empowering Spaces. We are planning on having two sessions one of which will consist of an Indigenous leadership panel where Indigenous leaders have a space to share with us their experiences with leadership. Our second session will be on inclusive language; it has become such a big part of the workplace culture but it can be intimidating to those who don’t fully understand it. Through our session, we are hoping to introduce participants to inclusive language and guide them on how it can effectively be used in all their respective spaces.
What is the importance of youth leadership, in your opinion?
Youth leadership is of utmost importance because we are the leaders that will shape our future. In all honesty, the change that we want to see in the world will be left primarily up to us. So I believe that the earlier we develop these skills the easier it will be for us as youth leaders to enter those influential spaces and have our voices heard.
Name three values which shape your leadership.
Intuition, Optimism and Ambition.
What is one piece of advice you’d share with other youth leaders?
Don’t compare yourself to others’ successes. As a youth leader, you are bound to share circles with other ambitious and successful leaders and it can be easy to feel discouraged that you have perhaps not accomplished as much as them. You must remember that everyone moves at their own pace so just because you see others succeeding that does not diminish your amazing accomplishments that should be duly celebrated.
“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