It's My Life, Indigenous Youth offer input into Transition Resource

Program Consultant, Ashley Mazurkewitch, and our Program Coordinator, Osemis Isbister-Bear, delivered a mini workshop session at Core Neighborhood Youth Co-op (CNYC) to showcase the “It’s my Life” youth transition resource.

Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op is an essential skill building and alternative education program for all youth in Saskatoon.

The Community Youth Program runs full-time out of CNYC in partnership with the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools where youth can earn academic credits.

Youth also learn life, art, cultural teachings, and essential skills in a compassionate and supportive environment. CNYC offers their life skills / educational programs to youth between the ages of 16 and 19.

The youth that attend CNYC come from difficult circumstances, often unhealthy and unsafe living conditions, and are faced with various life challenges as they transition into adulthood. Without positive family and peer support, they are often unsuccessful in the conventional education system. Furthermore, many are involved with the criminal justice system. The majority of CNYC youth are of Metis or Indigenous decent.

  • 90% of CNYC youth are Metis/Aboriginal

  • 80% have been involved in the criminal justice system

  • 100% have not been successful in a regular school program

  • A majority of CNYC youth come from the core neighborhoods

Youth who attend CNYC are working on improving life skills in areas such as nutrition, hygiene, health, and parenting. CNYC is unique in that it offers broad and holistic educational programs taking into consideration the whole person and the specific interests and needs of each youth.

We felt that this would be a great location to connect with the youth and receive ongoing feedback about SFNFCI’s youth transition resource, ‘ It’s My Life’ online application. We were able to present to 10 youth who attended our one hour interactive session.  The Program Consultant started the session by running through the application resources and highlighted a few of the information sections. The youth then broke out into groups and were provided time to select three-four sections of the application and complete a scavenger hunt questionnaire. 

After delivering our presentation and offering the youth time to interact with the application, we received the following feedback:

  • “I like that this was created with youth input, this resource and the information in it is very helpful”

  • “I wish I knew about this earlier, I am looking for housing, and this will help me”

  • “I really liked the section about my rights, I learned a lot about my rights, things I never knew before”

  • “This is so easy to use and I can find the information I am looking for very easily”

  • “The resources are very useful and the online app, well, it’s a fun and easy layout, I will use this app”

In addition to collecting general feedback, we surveyed the youth and asked them to rate the application on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being low grade and 10 being a highly impressed grading for the following:

How relevant is the information to you /  Is the information useful for you?

  • 8 of the youth indicated 9, as a rating result. They were highly impressed with the content

  • 2 youth declined to participate in the poll – they did not want to grade the application.

How easy was the application to use

  • 8 of the youth indicated 9, as a rating result.  They were appreciative of the layout.

  • 2 youth declined to participate in the poll– they did not want to grade the application.

We then asked the youth what improvements can be made to the transition planning resource application and here are the responses:

  • “None, I would not change anything, I can’t think of anything to change”

  • “hmmm … I would like to see more information on ways I can access cultural programming”

  • “I agree, maybe if the cultural section had more information on ways to connect with an Elder or information on places that offer this service, I would like to see that added there”

Finally, we asked what is the most important knowledge, skill, or information that they gained from the presentation, and we received the following input:

  • two youth noted they will most likely use the housing and budgeting applications more

  • one youth noted the budgeting and employment sections of interest

  • One youth commented they would like the application to have more information about organizations that offer cultural programming or ways to access cultural programming (i.e how to approach an elder, which organizations or programs offer this support).   

The youth really enjoyed the session and the time to interact with the application. We were invited to join the youth for a pizza lunch where words of appreciation, and gratitude were shared. This was a great place to showcase the “it’s my life application”. The Director emailed us the next day and thanked us for the donation of tablets and resource book.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *