WHAT HAS OYEC WORKED ON?
Here are just a few of OYEC’s accomplishments representing youth at the City level in recent years. See our Youth Action Plan page for all of our past & current projects.
Affordable Transit: OYEC organized meetings along with many other advocacy groups to encourage OC Transpo to implement a low-income bus pass (the EquiPass), which was passed by Council at half the cost of a regular monthly pass. It was implemented in 2017.
Youth & the Municipal Government: In 2018, in collaboration with Mayor Watson's office, OYEC launched Mayor for a Day. Over 90 high school students submitted an application listing three changes they would make to the City of Ottawa, and two high school students won the opportunity to shadow Mayor Watson and his staff for a day.
Relationships: OYEC has encouraged Councillor meetings with students regarding issues that matter to youth. In the fall/winter of 2018-2019, we'll be piloting our Councillors in Civics Program: a toolkit for teachers & Councillors to better facilitate and guide Councillor visits to Grade 10 Civics classes.
Environment: At the request of the Environmental Services Department, OYEC consulted with over 50 students and teachers to understand issues with the Composting in Schools Program. Members compiled a report with recommendations, many of which were implemented in September 2018.
Environment: OYEC successfully negotiated with the City to pilot the inclusion of recycling bins in parks. Four parks across the city will have recycling bins in 2017, with more to come!
Communications: In 2013, the “Youth” target audience was added in the Communications Plan template used by Corporate Communications. Staff are now required to consider the specific needs of youth to ensure that communications efforts for youth are appropriate and tailored to their diverse needs.
Communications: The Youth Portal section of Ottawa.ca launched through input of OYEC. Corporate Communications consulted with OYEC to improve social media outreach to youth.
Past Member Testimonials:
1.) What did you learn from your experience with OYEC?
OYEC was my first ever long-term engagement. I've been a part of OYEC for approximately 2 years, and it's one of the best things I've ever done. OYEC has taught me how to actively work with peers in a group environment, plan large scale events, and enthusiastically talk to strangers. I am very grateful for all that OYEC has taught me and how it's helped me become who I am today.
2.) How are you taking what you learned/skills into your current work (whether it's volunteer, activism, paid work etc.)?
Currently, I'm in my first year of university at UBC, and after leaving OYEC, I knew I wanted to continue actively contributing in the community. So far, I have formed my own club at school and am actively organizing and planning events with the club members.
1) What did you learn from your experience with OYEC?
One of the most important things I learned while in OYEC (other than the many different facets of city services), is to speak up and to make sure you act. I learned to speak on the things that affected me as a young adult in Ottawa and was given the opportunity verbalize how they affected myself and many other youth. I learned to debate and defend my own opinions in an environment where every person was fighting for what they thought was right and to never take it personally if it didn't quite work out! Most importantly, I learned of the different kind of youth we have living in Ottawa and was able to expand my way of thinking beyond what I thought I knew.
2) How are you taking what you learned/skills into your current work (whether it's volunteer, activism, paid work etc.)?
OYEC encouraged me to get out there and offer whatever I could to the world, which has resulted in me doing a lot more volunteer work throughout the years such as helping coordinate events around Ottawa or offer free videography and photography services, which have all aided me in expanding my network and even getting to do some paid work! I'm thankful for my time at OYEC. Not only did I get to meet new people and learn about what services our city offers, but this experience helped me break out of my shell. I was inspired to work on making myself, and Ottawa a little better!