Program Highlights

Empower YOUth is happening virtually November 21 to 22, with 10 learning sessions spanning across 2 days!

Plus, the virtual Marketplace opens November 20!

Join us for engaging sessions that will tackle topics to help you navigate your work during COVID-19. Session topics include a keynote that focuses on helping youth manage anxiety, and a second keynote that explores the role of youth work as a change-maker. The TED-talk-style sessions will equip you with tools to help you build relationships with youth, and to help youth who may be facing mental health challenges. Participate in the live virtual sessions, or watch the recordings afterwards at your own pace.

Check out the schedule-at-a-glance and program details below.


Learn more about the Presenters and Experience.

Schedule At-a-Glance

Friday, November 20 — Virtual Marketplace Opens

 

Saturday, November 21

10:00 – 11:00 am Opening Keynote: Effective Strategies and Resources for Helping Youth Manage Anxiety | Dr. Kristin Buhr
11:15 am – 12:00 pm Engaging Immigrant and Refugee Youth | Ibrahim Bolow
12:05 – 12:30 pm LIVE NETWORKING - What's Happening with Your Programs?
12:30 – 1:00 pm Lunch break
1:00 – 1:45 pm Trauma Informed Practices | Alyson Quinn
2:00 – 2:45 pm Keeping Young Workers Safe – In and Out of a Pandemic | Robin Schooley
3:00 – 3:45 pm Taming Tigers and Slowing Down the Tasmanian Devils – Tools for Tough Times | Jeff Willis

 

Sunday, November 22

10:00 – 11:00 am Opening Keynote: The Characters We Play and Inspire - A Reality Check Story | Jeff Willis
11:15 am – 12:00 pm Surrey Anti-Gang Family Empowerment Program | Brian Aasebo
12:05 – 12:30 pm LIVE NETWORKING - What's Happening with You?
12:30 – 1:00 pm Lunch break
1:00  1:45 pm Youth Engagement in Changing Times | Surrey Leadership Youth Council
2:00 – 2:45 pm The Beauty of Coping | Sheldon Franken
3:00 – 3:45 pm Connecting with Youth. Use the APPS, Avoid the Traps | Yvonne Gomez and Tamara Sykes-Yarwood

Program Details

Friday, November 20

Marketplace opens!

 

Saturday, November 21

10:00 - 11:00 am

Opening Keynote: Effective Strategies and Resources for Helping Youth Manage Anxiety

This session will focus on effective strategies and key resources for helping youth manage anxiety. Participants will gain a greater understanding of anxiety and youth-specific anxiety problems. Discussion will cover a range of core cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) strategies for managing anxiety, which include helping youth develop healthier self-talk, learn how to “dial down” physical symptoms of anxiety, and face feared situations. 

Dr. Kristin Buhr invites you attend Empower YOUth 2020 (YouTube video)


Dr Buhr Photo 2020 Cropped

Presented by Dr. Kristin Buhr

Dr. Kristin Buhr is a Registered Psychologist and Director at the North Shore Stress and Anxiety Clinic. She specializes in the evidence-based treatment of anxiety and mood disorders in adolescents and adults, and regularly provides workshops on mental health issues. Dr. Buhr is a lead consultant for Anxiety Canada, where she has developed numerous self-help resources for adults, parents, and teens coping with anxiety problems, including My Anxiety Plan (MAP), an on-line anxiety management course, and MindShift CBT, a comprehensive anxiety management app. 

11:00 – 11:15 am

BREAK

11:15 am - 12:00 pm

Engaging Immigrant and Refugee Youth

In this session, delegates will learn about the unique barriers that immigrant and refugee youth face, with the goal of improving your engagement. Walk away with 10 take-aways that can be used to connect with newcomer youths and help them to overcome their challenges.

Ibrahim Bolow Cropped

Presented by Ibrahim Bolow

Ibrahim is the co-founder and a youth leader of EdMeCo. He designs programs and leads initiatives such as mentorship programs so that young people can finish their schooling and get a head start on their career paths. He is also a student studying criminology at Douglas College.

12:05 - 12:30 pm

LIVE Networking - What's Happening with Your Programs?

Join your peers in a private Zoom channel, and connect with your colleagues to share your programming challenges and successes during this pandemic. This will be a moderated discussion.

This networking session will take place in a Zoom Meeting to utilize the breakout rooms feature. If you would like information on Zoom Meetings and how to change your session view check out this information page.

Important Note: Live networking sessions are live only and will not be recorded for on-demand access.

12:30 – 1:00 pm

LUNCH BREAK

1:00 - 1:45 pm

Trauma Informed Practices

In this session, participants will learn about the impact of trauma on an individual and community level, and about the indicators of a trauma informed practice. Learn ways to align your work with the Youth and the Experiential Unity model – a model that aligns with the principals of a Trauma informed Practice.


Alyson Quinn Cropped

Presented by Alyson Quinn

Alyson has been an Adjunct Professor at UBC School of Social Work for 7 years, and has been a counselor for 30 years specializing in group therapy, trauma therapy, and conflict resolution. She is a Clinical Counselor with a Masters degree from the University of British Columbia and a Diploma in Conflict resolution from Royal Roads University. Alyson has taught students in a Trauma informed Counseling class, in a group work class and also in an integrative seminar and has a great deal of experience as an individual and couples counselor.

1:45 – 2:00 pm

BREAK

2:00 - 2:45 pm

Keeping Young Workers Safe - In and Out of a Pandemic

The world of work looks different this year. While it has always been important for young workers and those who supervise them to know how to stay safe in the workplace, COVID-19 necessitates the need for a higher level of protection and awareness. During this presentation, Robin Schooley of WorkSafeBC will look at worker and employer rights and responsibilities, the different controls that are effective in protecting worker health, and explain how everyone in the workplace can do their part to prevent the spread of the virus.


Robinschooley Cropped

Presented by Robin Schooley

Robin Schooley is part of the Young & New Worker team in Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Consultation & Education Services at WorkSafeBC. Robin has a background in journalism and communications and brings those skills to educate youth and their influencers. Together with her team, Robin works to reduce injuries among new and young workers by raising awareness, creating empowerment and developing resources for youth, educators, employers and parents.

2:45 – 3:00 pm 

BREAK

3:00 - 3:45 pm

Taming Tigers and Slowing Down the Tasmanian Devils - Tools for Tough Times

Some people you serve are challenged in following directions, behave appropriately with others, cross boundaries and are unable to stay within the lines of a planned activity. By the end of the workday, staff can be found exhausted, unsure what to do next, and discouraged by their unsuccessful efforts. Taming a group full of tigers and settling down Tasmanian Devils is no circus act and definitely not an easy task. Learn and utilize a new skill that will bring more balance to a shared environment.


Jeff Willis Cropped

Presented by Jeff Willis

As a skilled energetic facilitator, storyteller, youth worker and speaker, Jeff has spent nearly 30 years working with a variety of organizations using supportive, innovative and experiential techniques to improve team collaboration and community connections. His passion is derived from his breadth of understanding of experiential education, his various senior roles within the outdoor recreation industry, entrepreneurial endeavors and a committed community advocate

Sunday, November 22

10:00 - 11:00 am

Keynote: The Characters We Play and Inspire - A Reality Check Story

We all need a constant reality check about the importance of the characters we play in our communities as we inspire and teach children and youth. Children and youth are seen, heard and believed within our communities. Come and be playful with Jeff Willis as we take a journey of the never ending story of youth work and community change making

Jeff Willis invites you to attend Empower YOUth 2020 (YouTube video)


Jeff Willis Cropped

Presented by Jeff Willis

As a skilled energetic facilitator, storyteller, youth worker and speaker, Jeff has spent nearly 30 years working with a variety of organizations using supportive, innovative and experiential techniques to improve team collaboration and community connections. His passion is derived from his breadth of understanding of experiential education, his various senior roles within the outdoor recreation industry, entrepreneurial endeavors and a committed community advocate

11:00 – 11:15 am

BREAK

11:15 am - 12:00 pm

Surrey Anti-Gang Family Empowerment (SAFE) Program

This session will provide an overview of SAFE's innovative, data-driven approach to diverting youth from the gang landscape. Insights from the first 18 months of the five year project will be shared with the express purpose of offering tangible ways that service providers can enhance collaboration in their communities in order to identify and support vulnerable youth and families. Warning signs for gang recruitment and involvement as well as resources for intervention will also be covered.

For those at a policy/decision-making level, there will be follow-up opportunities to connect about considerations such as funding and Privacy Impact Assessments; however, this session is designed to provide takeaways for front line workers supporting youth and families.


Brian Aasebo Cropped

Presented by Brian Assebo

Brian Aasebo is the City of Surrey's Community Safety Manager. He provides oversight for a few initiatives, most notably the Surrey Anti-Gang Family Empowerment Program. Prior to his current role, he managed operations of the Youth Intervention Program, Restorative Justice Program, and Victim Services Unit with the Surrey RCMP. Before a career in management, Brian enjoyed a rewarding 10 years as a youth and family counsellor.

12:05 - 12:30 pm

LIVE Networking - What's Happening with You?

Join your peers in a private Zoom channel, and connect with your colleagues to share how you're doing during this pandemic. This will be a moderated discussion.

This networking session will take place in a Zoom Meeting to utilize the breakout rooms feature. If you would like information on Zoom Meetings and how to change your session view check out this information page.

Important Note: Live networking sessions are live only and will not be recorded for on-demand access.

12:30 – 1:00 pm

LUNCH BREAK

1:00 - 1:45 pm

Youth Engagement in Changing Times

Join Aisha Kausar, Anmol Parhar, Neil Imada and Simar Vashish, members of the Surrey Leadership Youth Council for some important dialogue. Hear about what motivates youth, explore how to engage youth meaningfully, and discuss how to connect with youth during the pandemic. Get ready to be inspired by a panel of empowering youth.


Surrey Leadership Youth Council Youth Panel Logo

Presented by Surrey Leadership Youth Council

SLYC is an awesome youth leadership group that helps youth speak up and have their voices heard, with the support of the City of Surrey. Members of SLYC are motivated to empower young people to share their thoughts, opinions, and ideas about their community.

1:45 – 2:00 pm

BREAK

2:00 - 2:45 pm

The Beauty of Coping

This session will look at a variety of age appropriate, fun and meaningful coping strategies to use with youth, and even for ourselves as care-givers. We will be using the Dialectical Behavior Therapeutic model known as “ACCEPTS” to dive deep into some very practical and proven coping tools.


Sheldon Franken Cropped 

Presented by Sheldon Franken

Sheldon Franken (B.Ed, M.A.)  is a school counsellor for the Vancouver School Board and the workshop facilitator and owner of Inquiry Adventures. Sheldon has presented workshops and Keynotes on active and experiential social-emotional learning to educational and wellness organizations across North America.

2:45 – 3:00 pm 

BREAK

3:00 - 3:45 pm

Connecting with Youth. Use the APPS, Avoid the Traps

In this presentation you will be able to see samples of how technology in being used to foster belonging, build relationship, as well as provide space for the voices of children and youth.  We will be exploring the question "How do we connect with children and youth through a variety of apps, and platforms?"  The presentation will be prerecorded and you will received a  Nearpod code to review the presentation in a self-paced module.  Our intension is to showcase various activities and APPS while allowing practitioners an opportunity to explore new ways of interacting with technology that shifts us from consuming to producing!  The goal is to break down the barrier of not being a ‘tech whiz’ and confidently experiment wherever our skillset is at!  Podcasting, Nearpod, Puppetpals, Animoto, and Chatterpix, Strava, Kahoot, RoundMe…the possibilities are endless.

Yvonne Gomez invites you to Empower YOUth 2020 (YouTube video)


Presented by Yvonne Gomez and Tamara Sykes-Yarwood

Yvonne Gomez Cropped

Yvonne Gomez, M.SW, is Faculty at Douglas College in the Child and Youth Care program. She describes herself as both tech-curious and phobic! Yvonne sees the value of developing practitioner's understanding of digital citizenship - particular with the children and youth we work and support.

Tamara Sykes Yarwood Cropped

Tamara Sykes-Yarwood, Dipl. CYCC, is a student at Douglas college and an activity leader for the Boys and Girls Club of South Coast BC. Tamara actively looks for new ways to engage with and support the young people she works with while trying to incorporate digital platforms into her practice.

Thank You to the Program Committee!

JJ Johnson, City of Port Coquitlam

Kristine Lewis, City of Burnaby

Melanie Clark, District of West Vancouver

Omar Rajan, City of Richmond

Silisha Ali, City of New Westminster

Refund Policy

Cancellation requests received by November 10, 2020 will receive a refund of 85%.

Cancellations made starting November 11, 2020 are non-refundable.

Registrations are non-transferable.

All requests for cancellations must be submitted in writing (by email) to the BCRPA office at registration@bcrpa.bc.ca and received within the allotted cancellation times noted above.