Presenting Moose Jaw's youth

Lisa Goudy
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Youth in Moose Jaw want more to do.

Entertainment, transportation and communication of what is happening were only some of the ideas high school students and SIAST students brought forward at the 2014 Youth Forum at Wood Acres on Thursday. Close to 30 youth, as well as 25 to 30 adult community leaders participated in the event.

“We weren’t sure what to expect when we first came, but obviously it’s a good way to get the youth and the adults on the same page, which makes Moose Jaw better for everyone,” said Makenzie Murdock, a Grade 12 Vanier Collegiate student. “Days like this are great.”

“It’s obvious we have the same views. We share some of the same concerns. So it’s good to see,” added Michelle Crawford, a first year SIAST business student.

Murdock, Crawford and Chad Stephens, a Vanier Collegiate Grade 12 student, said they came up with two ideas on what they would like to see in Moose Jaw. One of those was to put in place an activity staff to run activities for youth at various facilities.

“How it is now for kids or students is they go to these places and they’re expected to organize activities for themselves,” said Stephens. “It’s hard to do when maybe you’re not great at socializing and you don’t want to go talk to a person you don’t know and ask them, ‘Do you want to come play football with me?’

“Well, it’d be easier if someone said, ‘we’re playing football. Who wants to play?’ and bring these people together.”

Murdock added having an activity staff at YaraCentre, the Kinsmen Sportsplex and the Wakamow Oval would be beneficial to youth.

“It makes it so much fun. It makes it look like you want to join that random zumba activity because it looks fun because the activity staff is making it exciting,” said Murdock.

Another idea was to have an app letting youth know what’s happening in the city and where to go for fun.

“There are a lot of options in Moose Jaw. There actually is when you think about it,” said Murdock.

“We don’t know. Stuff might be happening, but you just don’t know what’s happening,” added Crawford.

Crawford, Murdock and Stephens said out of all the ideas circulating among youth at the forum, they felt those two ideas were the simplest.

Some of the other ideas students pitched were a bike trail, an indoor skate park, indoor paintball, better public transportation to and from facilities such as YaraCentre, another place to hang out with music, couches and dancing other than Joe’s Place, a video arcade and an arts centre to work on music, dance and art.

“We’re trying to bring together youth and adults to develop our priorities for what we want to see happening in our city for programs and services for youth,” said Jennifer Angus with the youth sub-group of the Regional Intersectoral Committee (RIC).

There has been a youth forum before in the form of presentations. At Thursday’s forum, youth and adults were working together for the first time. She hopes it’ll become an annual event.

“They’re really looking for stuff to do and ways to access it,” she said. “It’s so important to have the youth come out and have their voices heard and not just one group of youth, but a wide variety of youth so everybody’s opinions are heard … It’s important so we know we’re putting our time and our efforts into the right places.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Vanier Collegiate Grade 12, Regional Intersectoral Committee

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Wood Acres

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Recent comments

  • Naz Ghodrati
    March 07, 2014 - 16:34

    Such a positive step in the right direction. As a UK visitor ( mum of a teen) I felt diversity in type of opportunities in Moose Jaw for youth has room to expand on. Art, Music, games, dance .... All very exciting welldone and can't wait to hear how this will develop to plans and actions.