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Posted on: April 29, 2020

Message From the Mayor - Youth Week

April 29, 2020

This Friday, Coquitlam will kick off our annual celebration of BC Youth Week, which recognizes youth and the contributions they make to their communities. Like everything else in the age of COVID-19, this year’s event will be held a little bit differently, but it will still offer plenty of opportunities for young people to connect online and have some fun.

Our teen years can be a challenging time in our development – we test our independence and figure out who we are and what our place in our community and the world, often while dealing with a roller coaster of emotions, particularly these days. On the other hand, youth is also a time when we are creative, curious, adventurous and developing our social consciousness.

I’m often inspired and amazed at how hard-working and driven youth are when they are passionate about something. We’ve seen examples of this around the world as youth have come together to march for climate action, as well as in our own community, when they take on something they believe in, whether it the environment, social justice, bullying, mental health, poverty, homelessness, LGBTQ rights and many other worthy causes.

Even now – isolated from their schools, sports and friends and facing a future that is uncertain – we hear numerous stories of youth who continue to make a difference, whether they are supporting other youth, holding fundraisers, performing small acts of kindness or simply trying to spread some joy and community spirit.

It’s heartening to see, and their optimism and energy sets an example for all of us. 

From May 1 to 7, let’s all make some time to cheer on our youth. Right now, the milestones and celebrations that connect our community are more important than ever, and there is no better reason to rejoice in the contributions of our young people and future leaders.

In keeping with Youth Week, I’d like to focus on our local young people for this week’s round of shout-outs.

Kudos to the talented Dani Black, a 16-year-old musician who raised more than $17,000 for food banks while entertaining home-bound residents through her Music for Meals online concert in April.

I’d also like to acknowledge our Youth Council, which meets every two weeks – and continues to do so now, online – to create awareness about youth issues and to plan activities and opportunities to give back.

I want to acknowledge students at Glen Eagle High School who are putting their music towards their cause – the Downtown Eastside COVID-19 response.

And a shout-out also goes out to Coquitlam’s many youth volunteers, who keep coming back every year to help out with our programs. The City wouldn’t be able to offer everything we do without their hard work and support.

With creative, caring and enthusiastic youth like these, our future is in good hands. So we ask everyone to stay safe, flatten the curve and this week, let’s do it while celebrating our youth.

Richard Stewart

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