Mississauga - The student-run Brampton-based organization, ACCESS Charity, joined over 20 other local organizations and over 250 youth for this year's Youth Can Move the World Symposium. The event was held at the HJA Brown Education Center on Saturday, February 2008.
The day was filled with a dynamic program that empowered, entertained, and energized Peel youth. The goal of symposium organizers was to offer a full day of programming to ignite the interest and commitment of youth in creating a world that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable, as well as to encourage youth to interact with organizations, to explore opportunities to transform their interests into action through local volunteerism.
For ACCESS Charity, the event was a great success. The informational booth during the Agency Fair provided volunteer opportunities, sold fair-trade certified chocolate and sugar, and distributed resources with additional information.
With many interested youth signing up to volunteer with the organization, the future of the youth-based ACCESS Charity looks promising.
Student participant and ACCESS volunteer Nakita Nelson stated that, "with many fellow student supporters such as myself, ACCESS was seen by the community as an excellent example of youth realizing the issues of today and trying to make a difference for tomorrow's generations. I believe that our solution for this world starts with us, and ACCESS is one of many organizations that promotes peace and happiness throughout the world."
ACCESS acknowledges the valuable contributions of youth volunteers Kody Robinson, Nakita Nelson, Michelle McIntyre, Ann Le, Nathalie Atanda, Andrew Ly, and Kathryn Trnavsky for their assistance at the event.
Daniel Francavilla, a Brampton high-school student who founded ACCESS, gave a keynote speech to start off the day's activities. He introduced the Agency Fair and shared his personal experience of volunteerism with the message that "there really are no limits – only endless needs and opportunities".
Valerie Davis, chair of the event's Steering Committee, was proud of the overall result. "The Youth Can Move the World 2008 Symposium was, from our perspective, a resounding success, and that was in no small part due to the contributions of so many." She added that in particular, "having youth involved in the program, such as Daniel was, helped to underline and reinforce one of our key messages; that is that youth are already leaders today – we need not wait for the future".
The event was inspired by the United Nations' declaration of the years 2005-2014 as the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. ACCESS's goal of providing access to education for children in the developing world continues to work towards supporting this declaration.
ACCESS Charity would like to thank Youth Can Move the World program coordinator Louroz Mercader, steering committee chair Valerie Davis, and Donna McBride, organizer of the Agency Fair, for including ACCESS in the highly successful event.
The ACCESS youth volunteers