Y-Klick youth forum a resounding success
Some 250 youth from across the island gathered recently for the Y-Klick Forum, Jamaica's first high-level forum on youth advocacy.
Rural and urban youth, youth with disabilities and youth leaders candidly shared their experiences and opinions on a wide spectrum of issues affecting their development and well-being. With a heavy focus on seeking solutions and building a strong youth network, the participants were addressed by Jehmu Greene, Fox News analyst and former president of Rock the Vote; Kemesha Kelly; Aubrey Stewart; and Dr Michael Abrahams on how to find, create and expand youth opportunities.
Participants were further engaged in small group sessions on 'Finding their voice' through face-to-face conversations with youth champions, including Emprezz Golding and Miguel 'Steppa' Williams.
The forum incorporated information clinics for aspiring and current advocates, young advocates sharing their experiences of success, and issuing a collective call to action for young Jamaicans to get involved in activities after the forum.
The Y-Klick Forum marks the end of two days of consistent engagement, beginning with a youth chat in the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre in St Andrew. Moving forward, the Y-Klick team will engage and reach out to youth and political leaders through social media.
Some comments by participants in the forum included: "I will try to change and encourage my peers to be more active and treat persons with disabilities equally," which was promised by one youth.
"When we stop treating youth like problems we will quickly become part of the solution," another surmised.
Another added: "I was inspired and motivated to get involved. I have a better understanding of how to use my voice."
The initiative is supported by UNICEF, Respect Jamaica and the US Embassy.