Written by: Nana Agyemang, from Citizen Empowerment Project
My name is Nana Agyemang and I am 25 years old, born and raised in the lovely city of Toronto.
Living in Toronto is great, and one of the reasons why all love Toronto is because we have all kinds of different characters in Toronto, and Toronto acknowledges everyone. We’re so multicultural and we are known for the largest LGBT community, which is very cool.
Moreover, we have free education now! Please tell me this is not great. Many families and communities are so honored to benefit from this. If you think going to college/university for free isn’t great then maybe this will surprise you.
Everyone always says that you need money to do something in Toronto but guess what! You don’t really need to spend money; there are several activities, festival, workshops that you can do for free. We give free food, free goody bags, free knowledge and much more. Take a stroll in downtown Toronto or even my community, Jane and Finch, and you will be amazed by all the free things we do.
However, there’s always room for improvement. If I get selected to become Mayor today, I’ll sit back in my chair and sprinkle a few changes.
The first thing I would do is spread more awareness on mental health issues. I believe mental health is a major factor in our community, but others around me and in my community tend to not take it seriously or not have any knowledge of mental health. I would organize many workshops on mental health in different communities and recreation centers and implement an information center and courses in middle schools and high schools all over Toronto.
The second thing I would do is improve how we run our after-school programs. I would invest more money to make these programs more beneficial to the youth and not just be a drop in center. These programs will help our youth become better role models and mentors.
I would also look into the gun violence in our community and see where I could help reduce the rate of gun violence. Hearing on the news every week about a young male dying or a shooting in a mall, park, or school makes me feel despondent and I want this to stop. I believe if the after school programs had better funding and we had great role models around this would attract more students to become involve instead of doing negative activities.
The “If I Were Mayor” blog series profiles the ideas of youth and rising leaders from across the GTHA as a way to add their voices to the municipal conversation. Posts have been curated by CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network, For Youth Initiative, Laidlaw Foundation, Toronto Youth Cabinet, Citizen Empowerment Project, Young Women’s Leadership Network, and the Centre for Community and Immigration Services. The views contained in this post are the author’s and are not reflective of CivicAction or the CivicAction Leadership Foundation.