For a very long time, I have put in a lot of effort for making this dream a reality. Now that everything is finalized and all the steps of the interviews are over, today I can proudly say that I have attained the title as Youth Ambassador. Being a 360°Kids Youth Ambassador was not easy to earn, but more so, it’s not easy to fulfill. It comes with a great responsibility. I’m so honored and happy to be selected among the few teens who are trusted with and given this chance to be real change-makers within our greater community of York Region.

At the 360°Kids Headquarters after my last interview.

At 360°Kids, program organizers and youth leaders make sure to help the homeless as well as youth who are in state of crisis, transition to safety and stability, given the right environment and people that help them receive a fair chance at life. Every youth deserves to succeed, if given fair opportunities. Not everyone comes from the same circumstances and backgrounds. But how anyone starts in life should not determine what the future holds in store for them! Tomorrow is another day and the perfect day to begin a new life! As their popular hashtag would say, #everykidmatters!

I believe that a good leader instructs others for what to do. However, a better leader carries on the weight of a group and works as a team. A great leader listens to the ideas and issues of others, and makes sure to solve problems in action and not just by words. Youth Ambassadors are such example. I’m so happy to be able to put my passion in helping the youth, most especially girls into a great cause! This not only allows those we’re helping become better versions of themselves but also it does the same for me and other youth.

I truly appreciate the Program staff and organizers for giving me this opportunity, trusting in my ability and everything they do day and night to create a tangible impact on many lives! We should all strive to care and have compassion as they do.

From now until September 2019 I will be dedicating a great portion of my time and effort into aiding the team of ambassadors into completing tasks at hand, such as giving presentations in my school, classroom and community, writing quarterly newsletters to staff, volunteers, boards members and parents, participating in fundraisers on the behalf of this program, attending all workshops, meetings, events and etc. It will be a very busy rest of summer and year indeed! I’m looking forward to this new experience.

“In an effort to engage youth in their community, the Youth Ambassador Program will allow student participants across York Region to engage in programs and activities benefiting 360°kids. Through participation in the program, youth will develop leadership skills and become more engaged in their school and communities. By engaging youth with 360°kids, we are able to bring new ideas and a fresh perspective into our goals and future projects.” – 360°Kids Youth Ambassador Program

A comment by the Chief Executive Officer of Operation Smile Canada in support of my involvement in Youth Ambassadorship Program.

This is a great opportunity for me to improve my leadership skills, become more engaged in my school as well as my own community and the greater York Region area, build skills sets in public speaking, communication, interpersonal and social interaction as well as be more involved in helping others and giving back to my community, with a special attention to the homeless and troubled youth and troubling matters such as human trafficking and raising awareness for such issues that exist in the world and even in Canada. I will be gaining experience and knowledge on community issues and issues facing the homeless and at risk youth.

A supportive message from my friend Susy who is a talented karate athlete.

As my platform focuses on gender equality and women empowerment, one of the ways I’m taking on the challenges that women face such as violence and assault against women is making this idea turn into reality to incorporate martial arts and teaching self-defence in health and gym classes of elementary/secondary schools, for which I have already proposed it to the York Region District School Board and have been in correspondence with the Board Directors ever since. Things are still in progress, but for sure proceeding as expected. I’m happy about this. Hopefully really soon, we will be able to see the outcome of my efforts as well as the team of Board Members who bring everything into fruition and completion, come to reality.

What I said last year, I’m still saying today! The best advice I can give anybody, including myself!

You may ask how this applies to 360°Kids Youth Ambassador Program? Well ideas are always welcome. I strongly believe, by incorporating martial arts into the school curriculum, at risk youth and generally teenagers who experience feelings of self-doubt, fear, lack of confidence or hope will be able to gain back their passion and energy for life by learning martial arts. It empowers everyone and not just female students. But, it also protects them if they face domestic violence and physical bullying. It helps them gain back their confidence and enthusiasm for life. I’m in favour of this change in the school system and I am positive the effects of it will be far better than expected. More great news about this will be posted soon, so please always feel free to come back and visit my blogs for updates. Always a pleasure writing for my avid readers and supporters.

By yours truly,

Mahta – Miss Teenage Newmarket 2018

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